Hertha Ayrton was a distinguished British scientist who was the first woman to receive the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society for a scientific work that was exclusively her own. She was committed to suffrage activism and ensuring proper recognition of women’s scientific work.
Cora Berliner was an economist and social scientist who held leadership positions in several major Jewish organizations in Germany between 1910 and 1942. These organizations included the Association of Jewish Youth Organizations in Germany, the Reich Representation of German Jews, and the League of Jewish Women.
Käte Hamburger was a German literary scholar and philosopher who developed a philosophical theory of literature.
German mathematician Margarete Kahn worked with fellow Jewish woman Klara Löbenstein and their essential contribution to a famed problem was cited in the publications of several others. Despite earning her doctorate and having a significant impact in her field, Kahn was unable to earn a post-doctoral degree due to discrimination against women, and she worked as a teacher until she was deported by the Nazis.
Frustrated with the way math is taught in schools, Lillian R. Lieber created unconventional, popular books to excite young readers and incite their curiosity.
Nelly Neumann completed her doctorate in synthetic geometry in 1909 at Breslau University, making her one of the first women in Germany to obtain such a degree. In her lifetime she provided career guidance to female university students and worked as a secondary school teacher, tackling the intersection of philosophy and mathematics.
Emmy Noether, a German mathematician, was the world leader in the twentieth-century development of modern “abstract” algebra. Her writing, the students she inspired, and those students’ books wholly changed the form and content of higher algebra throughout the world. She influenced a generation of mathematicians, several of whom borrowed heavily from her work to write the major textbooks of the field.
The first woman and the first Jew to be granted a doctorate in physics at the University of Toronto, Mattie Rotenberg also founded Toronto’s first Jewish day school in 1929 to educate her five children. She went on to embark upon a successful second career in journalism.
As a pioneering physician, biostatistician, and demographer, Mindel Cherniack Sheps was acutely aware of the role science could play as a powerful social force. She taught that peace, social justice, and science were inextricably bound; humanism in any field must be based on social equity and knowledge.
A self-proclaimed “torchbearer for matrix theory,” Olga Taussky-Todd made the previously little-known field essential for scientists and mathematicians.