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Women in STEM

It's International Women’s day and next week will be British science week so we think it is a perfect time to celebrate all women in science.

When you think of women in science most people think of Rosalind Franklin or Marie Curie but for famous scientists in general, even Google can only name a few women. In fact it is hard to find a person who is able to name any more famous female scientists as they are simply not recognised.

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For as long as men have made it in the world of science, women have yearned to contribute just as much with little to no recognition. With such a male dominated written history it is no surprise that women have not been acknowledged in the same way.

Despite women making up 41% of those in Science Professions, a drop in the 50% from 2015 (Women in the STEM workforce, 2016, WISE campaign), people are still reporting a gender imbalance in Science. Part of the problem is an unconscious bias, everyone has biases although we like to think we are open-minded and impartial even related to those in their own fields. Recognising biases is key to overcoming them.

The journal Nature admitted it had a gender bias in 2012, with only 12% of their reviewers being women. There is slow progress on this though as in 2015 that number has only jumped to 22% (Gender imbalance in science journals is still pervasive. Nature, 2017). While other researchers have acknowledged biases in journals it is only Nature that has openly admitted to one.

To try and bring awareness of some of the amazing women who have made such important contributions to the sciences here are some women scientists that everyone should know although few do:

 

Gertrude B. Elion (1918 - 1999)

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Dorothy Hodgkin (1910 - 1994)

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Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909 - 2012)

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Barbara McClintock (1902 - 1992)

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Gerty Cori (1896 - 1957)

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Lise Meitner (1878 - 1968)

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Dame Anne McLaren (1927 - 2007)

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Rosalind Franklin (1920 – 1958)

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Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)

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