Category: science

Emma
Vyssotsky
(1894-1975) was
an astronomer, working for the McCormick Observatory in Virginia. She
specialised in the kinematics of the Milky Way and the motion of stars.

She studied
astronomy at Harvard, obtaining her PhD in 1930. In 1946 she received the Annie
J. Cannon Award from the American Astronomical Society.

Tebello
Nyokong
(b. 1951) is one
of the most influential and accomplished scientists in South Africa. She is a
chemist whose research focuses on photo-dynamic therapy, an alternative cancer
treatment to chemotherapy.

She studied chemistry and biology, and obtained her PhD from the
University of Western Ontario in 1987. She is a professor at Rhodes University,
and has won numerous awards for her work, such as the Order of Mapungubwe or
the South African Chemical Institute Gold Medal.

Charlotte
Moore Sitterly
(1898-1990)
was an astronomer who worked for Princeton University as a human computer. She is
best known for her research in spectroscopic studies of the Sun.

Initially a
mathematician, she discovered a passion for astronomy and started working at
the Mount Wilson Observatory. Her tables of atomic spectra remain essential
references in spectroscopy. She was the first women elected to the Royal
Astronomical Society of Great Britain in 1931.

Tomoko Ohta (b. 1933) is a Japanses scientist,
working in the field of evolutionary biology genetics. She is known as a pioneer
of genetic polymorphism, and the proponent of the nearly neutral theory of
evolution.

She studied agriculture in Tokyo, after which she moved to
the United States and obtained her PhD from North Carolina State University in
1966. She worked for the Japanese National Institute of Genetics and was later
accepted into the United States National Academy of Sciences as a foreign
associate in evolutionary biology.

Sarah Frances Whiting (1847-1927) was an astronomer and physicist. She was the instructor
of several other scientists, including the famous Annie Jump Cannon.

She studied at Ingham University, and was
appointed as the first professor of physics at Wellesley College in 1875. She
started teaching astronomy five years later. She helped establish the Whitin
Laboratory and became its first director in 1900.

Lydia Villa-Komaroff (b. 1947) is a Mexican-American molecular biologist. She is a founding member of SACNAS, The Society
for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science.

She completed her PhD in cell biology at MIT in 1975, and later was part
of the team that discovered how bacteria could generate insulin. In 1996 she
started working for Northwestern Unviersity and became its Vice President for
Research.

Martha Vaughan (1926-2018) was a biochemist working for the National Heart Lung and
Blood Institute. She was an emeritus scientist in the Laboratory of Metabollic
Regulation, and her work focused on cellular regulation and lipid metabolism.

She graduated from the Yale School of
Medicine and went on to become the senior assistant surgeon in the laboratory
of Christian Afinsen, who won the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. She was a
member of the National Academy of Sciences and of its Committee on Human
Rights.

Constance Adams (1964-2018) was an architect who worked extensively in space programmes.
She contributed to the design of the cabin for the International Space Station,
and was considered a foremost expert in spaceport planning.

She studied sociology at Harvard, followed
by architecture at Yale. Since the late 1990s, she worked for Lockheed Martin
Space Operations at NASA. In 2005, she was named an Emerging Explorer by National
Geographic.

Tatyana Kuznetsova (1941-2018) was the youngest person ever selected to be a part of a
human spaceflight programme. This happened in 1961, when she was selected as
one of five female cosmonauts by the Soviet government.

She worked as a stenographer for the Ministry
of Radioelectronic Industry, but also took up parachuting as a hobby, becoming
a regional and national champion by the age of 20. She was selected for the
programme as a preparation for the first woman in space – an honour that
eventually went to Valentina Tereshkova.

Maria Dalle Donne (1778-1842) was the first woman to ever obtain a doctorate in
medicine. She achieved this in 1799 at the University of Bologna.

Her research focused on female reproduction and
fertility, as well as neonatal medical issues. She was the second woman to ever
become a member of the prestigious Ordine
dei Benedettini Accademici Pensionati
, and in 1832 she became the Director of the Department of Midwifery at
the University of Bologna.