Historical Women in Science

A Reference List


This list is not comprehensive, but merely a starting point for those interested in learning about historical women in science. It represents only some of the research that has been done while creating this podcast, and will continue to be updated to highlight new women in STEM. While efforts are made to seek out scientists of color and scientists from non-western countries, due to my location and current resources, this list has an admittedly western bias. If there is a scientist you would like to see added to this list, please consider sending us a message or submit a profile!

For short biographies about women in STEM visit the Historical Femme Features page (updated weekly).


27th Century ce

Merit-Ptah (27th Century CE), Egypt. Medicine.

25th Century CE.

Pesehet (25th Century CE), Egypt. Medicine.

23rd century ce

En’Hedu’Anna (23rd century BCE), Babylonian Empire [1][2]

13th Century CE

Tapputi (13th Century CE). Babylonian Mesopotamia. Alchemy.

6th Century ce

Teano (6th Century CE). Mathematics.

Hypatia (6th Century CE). Mathematics.

5th Century CE

4th century ce

Agnodike (4th century BCE), Greece. The first woman physician to practice legally in Athens.

3rd Century CE

Cleopatra the Alchemist (3rd Century CE). Alchemy.  [1]

Merit Ptah (3rd Century CE). Medicine.

Maria the Jewess (3rd Century CE), Egypt. Alchemy. [1]

2nd Century CE

Ban Zhao (2nd century CE), China. Astronomy.

Aglaonike (2nd century BCE), Greece. Astronomy.

7th Century

Rufaida Al-Aslamia (7th-century), Saudi Arabia. Medicine.

10th Century

Al-ijliya Al-astrulabi (10th century CE), Syria. Astronomy.

Fatima de Madrid (10th century CE), Islamic Spain. Astronomy.

Sutaya Al-Mahmali (10th Century). Mathematics. [1] [2][3]

Lubna of Córdoba (10th Century). Mathematics. [1] [2]

11th Century

Abella (11th century), Italy. Medicine.

12th Century

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Germany. Biology.

13th Century

Gevher Nesibe (13th century). Medicine.

14th Century

Adelmota of Carrara (14th-century), Italy. Medicine.

15th Century

Jang geum (15th century), Royal Physician, Korea. Medicine.

Tan Yunxian (1461–1554), China. Medicine.

16th Century

Catherine de Parthenay (1554–1631), France. Mathematics.

Sophia Brahe (1556–1643), Denmark. Astronomer.

17th Century

Martine Bertereau (1600-1642), France. Mineralogy and Mining Engineering.

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), Germany. Entomology. [1]

18th Century

María Andrea Casamayor y de la Coma (1700(?)–1780), Spain. Mathematics. [1][2]

Emilie du Chatelet (1706-1749), France. Physics.

Laura Bassi (1711-1778), Italy. Physics. [1]

Eliza Lucas Pinckney (1722-1793), United States. Botany. [1]

Jacoba van de Brande (1735-1974), Netherlands. Physics.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799), Italy. Mathematics. [1]

Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze (1758-1836), France. Chemistry. [1]

Wang Zhen Yi (1768–1797), China. Astronomy.

Etheldred Benett (1776-1845), UK. Geology. [1]

Jeanne Villepreux-Power (1794-1871), France. Marine Biology. [1]

Mary Anning (1799-1847), UK. Paleontology.

19th Century

Mary Seacole (1805–1881) Army Nurse, US, Jamaican-British. Medicine.

Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831–1895). Medicine.

Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850-1935, Russia. Mathematics.

Anna Galvis Hotz (1855–1934), Columbia. Gynecology.

Zelia Nuttal (1857–1993), México. Archaeology.

Kadambini Ganguly (1861–1923). Medicine. [1][2][3]

Rakhmabi Bhikaji (1864–1955), India. Medicine.

Anandibai Joshi (1865–1887); India. Medicine.

Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865–1915), Omaha Tribe, US. Medicine. [1][2][3][4]

Ynes Mexia (1870–1938), US- México. Botany,

Emmy Noether (1882-1935), Germany. Mathematics.

Janaki Ammal (1887–1984), India. Botany, [1] [2]

Roger Arliner Young (1889–1964); USA. Zoology.

Alice Augusta Ball (1892–1916); African American. Chemistry. [1][2][3]

May Edward Chin (1896–1980); US, Chickahominy and African American. Medicine.

20th Century

Martha Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1900–1980) US, African American. Mathematics.

Helia Bravos Hollis (1901–2001), México. Botany,

Ruby Hirose (1904–1960). Bacteriology & biochemistry. US, Chinese-American. Chemistry. [1][2]

Hilena Sedarous (1904–1998) Egypt. Medicine.

Nise da Silveira (1905–1999). Medicine.

Bertha Parker Pallan Cody (1907–1978), Native American, US. Archaeology.

Mary Golda Ross (1908–2008); aerospace engineer, Cherokee. Engineering.

Dorothy Vaughan (1910–2008). NASA Computer Scientist, US, African American. Technology.

Paris Pishmish de Recillas (1911–1999), Turkey, US, Mexico. Astronomy. [1]

Chien-Shiung Wu (1912–1997), experimental nuclear physics, Chinese-American. Physics.

Kamala Sohonie (1912–1998), India. Biochemistry. [1][2][3]

Marjorie Lee Browne (1914–1979), US, African American. Mathematics.

Sameera Moussa (1917–1952); nuclear physics, Egyptian. Physics.

Asima Chatterjee (1917–2006) India. Chemistry. [1][2]

Luisa Eugenia Navas Bustamante (1918 — ); Chile. Botany.

Katherine Johnson (1918-present), US. Mathematics.

Ālenush Teriān (1920–2011), Iran-Armenia. Astronomy.

Marie Maynard Daly (1921–1993) US, African-American. Chemistry. [1][2]

Mary Jackson (1921–2005). NASA engineer, US, African American. Engineering.

Maggie Gee (1923–2013); Chinese American. Physics.

Carme Adelina Gutiérrez Alonso (1925–2015), Chile. Astronomy.

Annie Easley (1933 — 2011). NASA computer scientist + mathematician, US, African-American. Technology.

Azar Andami (1936–1984), Iran. Bacteriology.

Đặng Thùy Trâm (1942–1970), Vietnam. Medicine.

Maharani Chakravorty (1947–2015); India. Biochemistry.

Maryam Mirzakhani (1977–2011), Iran. Mathematics.