Inspirational Women in Tech

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Katherine Johnson

NASA Mathematician

Being handpicked to be one of three students to integrate West Virgina's graduate schools, is just one of the several breakthroughs in Katherine Johnson's life. Her career at NASA changed history and helped put astronauts on the moon. Her work calculated and analysed the flight paths of many spacecraft during more than three decades with the U.S space programme.

 

Claudette Colvin, Civil Rights Activist

 

Claudette Colvin

Civil Rights Activist

Claudette Colvin is an activist who was a pioneer in the civil rights movement in Alabama during the 1950s. She refused to give up her seat on a bus months before Rosa Parks' more famous protest. Claudette was told by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) "We don't want to use a pregnant teenager as the face of the resistance, people would talk about the pregnancy more than the boycott"
Dian Fossey, Conservationist and zoologist

Dian Fossey

Conservationalist and leading Primatologist

Dian Fossey was a well-known American zoologist that was best known for her extensive study spanning 18 years of mountian gorillas in their natural rainforest habitat in Rwanda. She was encouraged by the famous anthropologist Louis Leakey. She established the Karisoke Research Center in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda which continues to study and protect mountain gorillas today. Her 1983 autobiography Gorillas in the Mist became a best seller.

Kathrine Switzer, Matharon Runner and social campaigner

Kathrine Switzer

First women Marathon Runner and Social Campaigner 

Iconic athlete, sports and social advocate, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon.

Sports history changed in 1967 when she officially registered and finished that famous race. It was still a men's only event in those days and Switzer's entry created a worldwide uproar when the race director attacked her mid-stride and tried to remove her from the event. The photo of this incident flashed around the globe and became one of Time-Life's "100 Photos that Changed the World."

Rosalind Franklin, British Scientist

Rosalind Franklin

Pioneering research in DNA and chemist

Rosalind Franklin earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Cambridge University. She learned crystallography and X-ray diffraction, techniques that she applied to DNA fibers. One of her photographs provided key insights into DNA structure. Other scientists used it as evidence to support their DNA model and took credit for the discovery. Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958, at age 37.

 Mary Anne Evans, Victorian novelist under pseudonym George Eliot

Rosalind Franklin

Pioneering research in DNA and chemist

Rosalind Franklin earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Cambridge University. She learned crystallography and X-ray diffraction, techniques that she applied to DNA fibers. One of her photographs provided key insights into DNA structure. Other scientists used it as evidence to support their DNA model and took credit for the discovery. Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958, at age 37.

 

Mary Anning, Fossil hunter and paleontologist

Mary Anning

Fossil Hunter and Palaentologist

Mary Anning was a pioneering palaeontologist and fossil collector. Her lifetime was a constellation of firsts. Despite her growing reputation for finding and identifying fossils, the scientific community was hesitant to recognise her work. Male scientists - who frequently bought the fossils Mary would uncover, clean, prepare and identify - often did not credit her discoveries in their scientific papers on the finds, even when writing about her groundbreaking ichthyosaur find.

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