Six Snubbed Women in Science

Someone (if only I could remember who!) recently linked this 2013 NatGeo article: 6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism. Rosalind Franklin is there, of course, but there are also women I’d never heard of: Esther Lederberg, Chien-Shiung Wu, and Nettie Stevens. The list hasn’t got any geologists, alas, but physics and biology are well-represented with one shout-out to astronomy.

Image shows Chinese scentist Chien-Shiung Wu smiling at the camera in an old black-and-white photo.
Chien-Shiung Wu. Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons.

I’m happy to be living in a time when women are finally beginning to get the recognition they deserve, but there’s a long way to go. I’ll be bringing back our Pioneering Women in the Geosciences series soon, now that summer field season is over. We won’t let their contributions be forgotten.


Originally published at Rosetta Stones.

Six Snubbed Women in Science
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One thought on “Six Snubbed Women in Science

  1. 1

    I read things like that and I always think of my aunt Phyllis. She got a degree in chemistry, before WWII. She got married and had a child. Her husband got killed early in the war and she needed a job to support their child. During the war she was gainfully employed as a chemist. She loved doing that job but when the soldiers came back they expected her to be a tech or a secretary after she had been managing the department for years. She refused to to be demoted and they let her go. Life wasn’t easy for her for awhile she had to move back home. She ended up marrying a childhood friend and having six more children. She was never able to get a job as a chemist again. She was told to go teach it at a school, if she loved it so much. She was always bitter over the way she was treated and just stayed at home raising her kids. You will never see her name in the science literature, even though she did some cutting edge research on breaking down oil & gas that eventually got published by someone else. She’s gone now, there’s no proof she did what she says she did, – she had no documentations to support her. To me there was no reason for her to lie about this stuff, and I will always believed her. I just wish she could have gotten the recognition she deserved to get.

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