Maria Sibylla Merian

1647-1717, Germany
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2 POINTS

– First to observe and document the metamorphosis of a butterfly.
– One of the most significant contributors to entomology.
– Was an accomplished botanical artist.

Graphic by Simon Gurrwww.gurrillustration.com
Maria Sibylla Merian (2 April 1647 – 13 January 1717) was a German-born naturalist and scientific illustrator, a descendant of the Frankfurt branch of the Swiss Merian family, founders of one of Europe’s largest publishing houses in the 17th century. Merian received her artistic training from her stepfather, Jacob Marrel, a student of the still life […] read more

Alice Ball

1892-1916, USA
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3 POINTS

– First woman and African-American Masters graduate from the University of Hawaii.
– Developed a leprosy treatment that was still in use until the 1940s.
– However, after her death, the president of the university took credit for her treatment.

Graphic by Shannon Wrightshannon-wright.com
Alice Augusta Ball (July 24, 1892 – December 31, 1916) was an African American chemist who developed an injectable oil extract that was the most effective treatment for leprosy until the 1940s.[1] She was also the first woman and first African American to graduate from the University of Hawaii with a master’s degree.[2] Early life […] read more

Chien-Shiung Wu

1912-1997, China/USA
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4 POINTS

– The “Wu experiment” disproved conservation of parity: thought to be a law of nature.
– Worked on the Manhattan Project, and made significant contributions to radioactivity research.
– Was a fierce advocate of social justice in her later years.

Graphic by Simon Gurrwww.gurrillustration.com
Chien-Shiung Wu (simplified Chinese: 吴健雄; traditional Chinese: 吳健雄; pinyin: Wú Jiànxióng; May 31, 1912 – February 16, 1997) was a Chinese-American experimental physicist who made significant contributions in the field of nuclear physics. Wu worked on the Manhattan Project, where she helped develop the process for separating uranium metal into uranium-235 and uranium-238 isotopes by gaseous […] read more

Marie Tharp

1920-2006, USA
Scale 3
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– Created the 1st map of the entire ocean floor.
– Her work was an important part of the highly controversial theory of continental drift.
– Was once fired for “girl talk” and defending her science.

Graphic by Ele Willoughbyminouette.etsy.com
Marie Tharp (July 30, 1920 – August 23, 2006) was an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer who, in partnership with Bruce Heezen, created the first scientific map of the entire ocean floor. Tharp’s work revealed the presence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, causing a paradigm shift in earth science that led to acceptance of the theories […] read more

Lise Meitner

1878-1968, Sweden/Austria
Scale 3
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– Helped lead the research group that discovered the nuclear fission of uranium.
– This work formed the basis for nuclear weapons.
– Unjustly snubbed for a Nobel Prize on this work (her research partner, Otto Hahn, did receive the prize).

Graphic by Ele Willoughbyminouette.etsy.com
Lise Meitner (English /ˈliːzə ˈmaɪtnər/; 7 November 1878 – 27 October 1968) was an Austrian-Swedish physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. Otto Hahn and Meitner led the small group of scientists who first discovered nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron; the results were published in early 1939.[4][5] Meitner and […] read more

Elsie MacGill

1905-1980, Canada
Scale 3
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– World’s first female aircraft designer.
– Designed and built the Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft during World War II.
– Commissioner on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada, published in 1970.

Graphic by Rachell Sumpterrachellsumpter.com
Elizabeth Muriel Gregory “Elsie” MacGill, OC (March 27, 1905 – November 4, 1980), known as the “Queen of the Hurricanes”, was the world’s first woman to earn an aeronautical engineering degree. She worked as an aeronautical engineer during the Second World War and did much to make Canada a powerhouse of aircraft construction during her […] read more