LISA MEITNER (1878-1968)
Did you know that Meitner was the originator of nuclear fission? The Australian physicist discovered that bombarding uranium with neutrons could cause a massive explosive chain reaction. She calculated the energy released in nuclear fission and coined the term. However, the great controversy surrounding this discovery is that she gave all the credit to her co-worker Otto Hahn, who went on to receive a Nobel Prize in 1944. A controversy that still rages today and criticises the criteria of the time for discrediting women in science – discredited at the time by the Nobel Committee.
BARBARA MCCLINTOCK 1902-1992
A medical specialist, McClintock specialised in cytogenetics: she studied the chromosomes of maize to discover fundamental genetic ideas, such as genetic recombination during meiosis. For years he demonstrated certain trends in the genetic information of the plant, developing theories that at the time were not very credible to the rest of the scientific community. It was not until 20 years later that researchers proved and accredited her theories. Thanks to this, the scientist won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1983, the only woman in history to win this prize without sharing it with someone else.
Discover interesting science websites about McClintock:
-BARBARA MCCLINTOCK: AGAINST THE GENETIC GRAIN
–Meet Barbara McClintock, who used corn to decipher ‘jumping genes’
GRACE HOPPER 1906-1992
An American engineer and naval officer, Hopper was the first developer of a compiler for a computer language, creating one of the first modern programming languages, COBOL.
ROSALIND FRANKLIN (1920-1958)
Franklin made a major contribution to biophysics, discovering the structure of DNA, helping to understand how genetic information is passed from generation to generation.
The English biophysicist used the technique “X-ray diffraction” to see the shape of the molecule, a double helix of atoms. According to the story, after obtaining the image, two of her fellow scientists saw the image and from there they built the DNA model, although she claims that they saw it without her permission or knowledge. Thus, they won the Nobel Prize for this discovery.
MARGARITA SALAS (1938 – 2019)
She was one of the most notable Spanish scientists. She worked for years at New York University, focusing her research on the field of molecular biology. One of her main contributions to science was the discovery of DNA polymerase, responsible for DNA replication.
JANE GOODALL (1934)
Jane Goodall has been one of the world’s most prestigious primatologists. This scientist has been the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees: for more than 45 years she studied the interactions of this species and discovered that they could have individual personalities, rational thoughts and feelings. Always a staunch defender of the environment and its protection, she has received numerous awards for her ecological and humanitarian work.