On 19th June Jawad Iqbal published this article on the BBC Science and Environment page – The Women whom science forgot
‘A quick web search for the world’s most famous scientists lists, among others, Galileo, Einstein, Newton, Darwin, Stephen Hawking and Alexander Fleming. One of the few women to receive a mention is Marie Curie, a physicist and chemist who basically discovered radiation and helped apply it in the field of X-rays.
The Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt was heavily criticised for his disparaging remarks about women in science last week, which for some raised the issue of where women stood in the scientific community. But many female scientists in the past were not given the credit they deserved for their achievements. As a result, their names have all but disappeared from public consciousness ……..’
The list includes:
- Esther Lederberg – a microbilogist who undertook groundbreaking research in genetics
- Rosalind Franklin – a biophysicist who pioneered X-0ray crystallography
- Ida Tacke – conducted groundbreaking research in chemistry and atomic physics
- Lise Meitner – her research led to the discovery of nuclear fission
Jawad Iqbal notes that ‘the Royal Society, swift in its condemnation of Sir Tim’s remarks, was founded in 1660 and has yet to elect a female president. Some say that the comments from Sir Tim, a prominent fellow of the society will damage the efforts it is making to improve diversity. It has been reported that only 6% of its fellows (a prestigious title in the world of science) are women. That statistic, some say, sums up the scale of the wider problem of the difficulties faced by women in the scientific world’
What do you think? Have any female scientists in your field of research disappeared from public consciousness?