Women in Science
Why Study Social Sciences? The History of Women in Science Is All About Social Evolution
There are many women scientists who are responsible for making discoveries and advances in a wide variety of areas of science. Women scientists have made a difference in fields of biology, medicine, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, and research.
With so many notable women immersed in the study of the traditional sciences, one might ask why study social sciences, too? The simple answer is that the history of women in science is all about social evolution. In many cases, there was a compassionate desire to improve the lot of humanity that led to scientific breakthrough. The social aspect of the work of these ladies makes science seem almost like an after thought in some cases.
Trotula of Salerno is considered the world's first gynecologist. She lived in Salerno, Italy in the 11th century. At the School of Salerno, women were welcomed as students and instructors. She was known for teaching men about women's health and is most well-known for writing the book The Diseases of Women. Learn more about Trotula of Salerno.
The first woman scientist whose writings still exist is Hildegard of Bingen. She lived between 1098 and 1179. She wrote botanical and medicinal texts, describing the natural world around her, including animals, plants, stones, and minerals. Learn more about Hildegard of Bingen.
The first woman doctor in the United States was Elizabeth Blackwell. She was a pioneer in educating women in medicine. She was an outcast in medical school and was even rejected after graduating. In 1851, she was refused lodging and office space to open an office, and she had to buy a house in order to practice medicine. In 1868, she opened a women’s medical college with her sister. Learn more about Elizabeth Blackwell.
One of the most famous women scientists in history is Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize. She was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity. Learn more about Marie Curie.
Other famous women scientists who deserve mention: Maria Mitchell was famous for discovering Miss Mitchell’s Comet in 1847. Sally Ride was the first woman astronaut in space. Jane Goodall spent thirty years of her life learning about and observing chimpanzees.
These are just a handful of the women who made memorable contributions to science. Learn more about these and other women scientists through the links below.
4000 Years of Women in Science
Famous Women Scientists
List of historical women in science
Women Nobel Prize Winners
More Famous Women Scientists
Famous Female Scientists
Biographies of Famous Women Scientists
16 Significant Contributors
Women Scientists of Past and Present
Notable Women Scientists
More Women Scientists
Early Women Scientists