Natural Science

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Mayim Bialik

Actress Mayim Bialik defied Hollywood stereotypes by not only playing brilliant, strong women on TV and in film, but also working as a neuroscientist in real life.

Joyce Jacobson Kaufman

Joyce Jacobson Kaufman’s groundbreaking work in chemistry and physics led to major advancements for the designs of compounds ranging from pharmacological drugs to rocket fuel.

Libbie Henrietta Hyman

Libbie Henrietta Hyman spent her career researching and writing the definitive texts on invertebrates, a monumental effort.

Ida Henrietta Hyde

While Ida Henrietta Hyde was best known for creating a microelectrode that could sample and manipulate individual cells, she was proudest of her work to support other women scientists.

Clarisse Doris Hellman

C. Doris Hellman’s study of Johannes Kepler and other Renaissance scientists made her one of the first professional historians of science in the US.

Tilly Edinger

The daughter of a respected neurologist, Tilly Edinger pioneered the study of paleoneurology through her discovery that brains left detectable imprints on the insides of skulls.

Claribel Cone

Claribel Cone made contributions to two vastly different fields as a biologist and a patron of modern French art.

Mildred Cohn

Biochemist Mildred Cohn used new technology to measure organic reactions in living cells.

May Brodbeck

May Brodbeck’s career in the sciences ran the gamut from teaching high school chemistry to exploring fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of human consciousness.

Rosalyn Yalow

Rosalyn Yalow won the Nobel Prize in 1977 for her work in discovering the radioimmunoassay, which uses radioactive isotopes to detect levels of biological and chemical compounds in the human body.

Frances Stern

In her belief that better nutrition could improve the lives of working-class people, Frances Stern created institutes, schools, and books to teach children and adults how to eat healthy on a budget.

Maxine Singer

Maxine Singer helped shape the emerging field of genetics as a researcher, educator, and medical ethicist.

Elizabeth Slade Hirschfeld

Elizabeth Slade Hirschfeld’s search for a way to make a difference led her first to become a Freedom Rider and then a public school teacher.

Elsa Neumann

Elsa Neumann earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Berlin in 1899, nine years before women were officially allowed to study there, becoming the university’s first woman graduate.

Mathilde Krim

Mathilde Krim made tremendous contributions to fighting AIDS both directly as a scientist and through fundraising as the creator of AmfAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

Gerty Theresa Cori

Gerty Cori’s work on carbohydrate metabolism, which changed our understanding of diabetes and other diseases, earned her the Nobel Prize for Medicine, making her the first American woman and third woman ever given the honor.

Evelyn Fox Keller

Evelyn Fox Keller’s work in gender, biology, and the history of science led her to question the gendered metaphors and assumptions of biologists and sociologists, which often blinded them to basic scientific facts.

Rita Arditti

As a Sephardic Jew from Argentina, Rita Arditti’s experience as “a minority within a minority” drove her to document another invisible group: the grandmothers of the disappeared children.

Gertrude Elion

Gertrude Elion revolutionized the ways drugs are developed and received the Nobel Prize in Medicine even though she never earned her PhD.

Death of Elsa Neumann, first female doctoral graduate of University of Berlin

July 23, 1902

Death of Elsa Neumann, first female doctoral graduate of University of Berlin

Women of Valor: Jewish Heroes Across Time

Learn about the lives of three trailblazing women and get some practical ideas for how to bring their stories into your community in creative ways.

Birth of Ruth Sager, innovative scientific achiever

February 7, 1918

“Science is a way of life.  I think it all comes from the inside.  It really gets to the very core of your existence.  It is much like being an artist or a dancer.

Helen Mahut, 1920 - 2010

She was a pioneer in discovering the purpose of certain areas of the brain, and the implications regarding human behavior. Without Dr. Helen Mahut, modern medicine would have a very different view and understanding of memory, the human brain, and resultant human behavior.

Rita Arditti, 1934 - 2009

She went from a young Argentinian middle- to upper-class kid raised not to question women's roles in the home to leading crusader for women's issues (notably as they applied to the world of science)...

Mildred Cohn, 1913 - 2009

Back in Cohn's day even her own PhD advisor could not help her find a suitable job, for in the era of pre-"equal opportunity" employment, Cohn had two strikes going against her – being a woman and Jewish – that no amount of talent could seem to overcome.

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