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Famous Female Chemists

Updated June 14, 2019 20.8k views120 items

List of famous female chemists, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female chemists list contains the most prominent and top females known for being chemists. There are thousand of females working as chemists in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic chemists have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a chemist then the people below should give you inspiration.

List features people like Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Susan Solomon.

While this isn't a list of all female chemists, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female chemists?" and "Who are the best female chemists?"
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  • Margaret Thatcher is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Female Chemists
    Photo: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS / Getty Images
    Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, (née Roberts; 13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013) was a British stateswoman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to hold that office. A Soviet journalist dubbed her "The 'Iron Lady'", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented policies known as Thatcherism. She studied chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, and worked briefly as a research chemist, before becoming a barrister. Thatcher was... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 88 (1925-2013)
    • Birthplace: Grantham, United Kingdom

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  • Marie Curie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Female Chemists
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Marie Skłodowska Curie ( KEWR-ee, French: [kyʁi], Polish: [kʲiˈri]; born Maria Salomea Skłodowska; 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris. She was born in Warsaw, in what was... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 67 (1867-1934)
    • Birthplace: Warsaw, Second Polish Republic
  • Rosalind Franklin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Female Chemists
    Photo: Jewish Chronicle Archive/Heritage-Images / via Wikipedia
    Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958) was an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer whose work was central to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), viruses, coal, and graphite. Although her works on coal and viruses were appreciated in her lifetime, her contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA were largely recognised posthumously. Born to a prominent British Jewish family, Franklin was educated at a private day school at Norland Place in West London, Lindores School for Young Ladies in Sussex, and St Paul's Girls' School, London. Then she studied the Natural Sciences Tripos at Newnham College,... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 38 (1920-1958)
    • Birthplace: Notting Hill, London, United Kingdom

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    Stephanie Kwolek

    Stephanie Kwolek is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Female Chemists
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Stephanie Louise Kwolek (July 31, 1923 – June 18, 2014) was an American chemist who is known for inventing Kevlar. She was of Polish heritage and her career at the DuPont company spanned over 40 years. She discovered the first of a family of synthetic fibres of exceptional strength and stiffness: poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide. For her discovery, Kwolek was awarded the DuPont company's Lavoisier Medal for outstanding technical achievement. As of February 2015, she was the only female employee to have received that honor. In 1995 she became the fourth woman to be added to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Kwolek won numerous awards for her work in polymer chemistry, including the... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 91 (1923-2014)
    • Birthplace: New Kensington, Pennsylvania
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