Women Scientists Who Did Not Get Their Due

International Day of Women and Girls In Science is observed globally on 11th February by the United Nations since 2015.

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, also half of its potential. However, due to structural and societal barriers, a  significant gender gap has remained at all levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world. Even though women have made significant progress towards increasing their participation in higher education, they are still very much under-represented in these fields.

By creating special observances of this day, the United Nations promotes international awareness and action to further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the fields of STEM.

According to UNESCO’s  Science Report,2020,  only 33 percent of researchers are women, despite the fact that they represent 45 and 55 percent of students at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels of study respectively, while 44 percent of those enrolled in PhD programs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased this gender inequality, from school closures to a rise in violence and a greater burden of care in the home.

We at Branolia on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science salute the many unknown women scientists who changed the world through their craft, but who unfortunately did not receive their due recognition. They should have won the Noble prize but were overlooked.

Ada Lovelace, Mathematician(1815-1852) Lovelace is regarded as the world’s first computer programmer — long before modern computers were invented. Her work was considered to be the amongst very first computer algorithms.

Chien-Shiung Wu, Physicist (1912-1997) Wu was the first scientist to confirm and later refine Enrico Fermi’s theory of radioactive beta decay. She is also known for her “Wu experiment,” which overturned the theory of parity in physics. This breakthrough led to a Nobel Prize that was awarded to her male colleagues in 1957, while  Wu’s critical role in the work was overlooked.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Astrophysicist (1943-    ) Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars in the late 1960s while completing her Ph.D. at Cambridge. Pulsars are remnants of massive stars but do not have enough mass to form black holes. Bell Burnell made her discovery using a telescope designed in collaboration with her supervisor, Antony Hewish. Hewish went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for his ‘decisive role in the discovery of pulsars while Bell Burnell was – surprisingly– overlooked.

Lise Meitner, Physicist (1878-1969) Considered by some to be the most significant woman scientist of the 20th century, Austrian-born Lise Meitner and her male colleague Otto Hahn at Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry together discovered nuclear fission of uranium, a breakthrough for which Hahn won the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Lise Meitner’s contribution remained unheralded.

Rosalind Franklin, Chemist (1920- 1958) Franklin is known for her revolutionary work in discovering the double helix structure of DNA. After four years of her untimely death, her male colleagues were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962.

Vera Rubin, Astronomer (1928- 2016) Rubin discovered the existence of dark matter, the strange glue that holds our universe together. Her contribution is regarded as one of the most significant discoveries of the 20th century. Many feel she should have been awarded a Nobel Prize for recognition of her work

The list is long, a significant gender gap still exists, women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science.

Century-old Ayurvedic Medicine Compay  Branolia recognizes the critical role women and girls play in science and technology. Branolia pledges  to be a part of the collective voice of spreading awareness and creating an environment where women can realize their true potential and today’s girls become tomorrow’s leading scientists and innovators.

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