Celebrate Women in STEM

Use Oxford University Press content in this timeline to discover the work and sayings of influential women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, through history to the present day. Scroll right to span history from Caroline Herschel to Maryam Mirzakhani. All content used in this timeline is free until June 2016.


1756-01-17 13:14:05

Caroline Herschel

Caroline Herschel, astronomer. The first female recipient of the Gold Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society in 1828. Discover more about her with Oxford University Press content.

1780-12-26 16:27:56

Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville, mathematician. One of the most widely recognised woman of science in her time. Somerville College in Oxford commemorates her name and achievements.

1799-05-21 16:27:56

Mary Anning

Mary Anning, fossil hunter and collector. Did you know that she found the first British pterodactyl?

1815-12-10 16:27:56

Ada Byron

Ada Byron, programmer. The daughter of the famous Lord Byron; she is now known as the founder of scientific computing.

1820-05-12 16:27:56

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, nurse and statistician. Considered the founder of modern nursing, Nightingale is a well-known hero of the Victorian era.

1836-06-09 16:27:56

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, physician. The first woman to obtain an MD and the only female member of the British Medical Association for 19 years.

1867-11-07 16:27:56

Marie Curie

Marie Curie, physicist. The first woman to receive a Nobel prize - for the discovery of radioactivity.

1868-04-14 16:27:56

Annie Maunder

Annie Maunder, astronomer and mathematician. She is well known for her work, with her husband, on the periodicity of sunspots. Maunder was the first woman elected to the Royal Astronomical Society after the ban on women was lifted.

1868-07-04 16:27:56

Henrietta Leavitt

Henrietta Leavitt, astronomer. She is known for her research and discovery of variable stars. By her death, she had discovered 2,400 of them - half of those now known.

1878-11-07 16:27:56

Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner, nuclear physicist. She's best known as the woman who discovered the process that fueled the atomic bomb.

1880-09-20 16:27:56

Elizabeth Kenny

Elizabeth Kenny, nurse. She developed a treatment for poliomyelitis that has since been absorbed into modern rehabilitation therapy.

1881-01-29 16:27:56

Alice Evans

Alice Catherine Evans, microbiologist. She discovered a relationship between an organism found in cows milk and that which causes Malta fever. This led to the pasteurisation of all milk in the US by the 1930s.

1882-03-23 00:27:56

Emmy Noether

Emmy Noether, mathematician. She is known for her ground-breaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics.

1906-12-09 00:00:00

Grace Murray Hopper

Grace Murray Hopper, computer scientist. She was instrumental in developing compilers for COBOL (Common Business-Orientated Language) in the 1960s. For the following two decades COBOL was the most widely used programming language in the United States.

1912-05-31 16:27:56

Chien-Shiung Wu

Chien-Shiung Wu, nuclear physicist. She has been called the 'Queen' or 'First Lady' of Physics and famously solved the “Tau-Theta Puzzle”.

1913-11-09 16:27:56

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr, actress and inventor. She invented frequency-hopping spread-spectrum technology which eventually revolutionised mobile communications.

1918-06-22 16:27:56

Cicely Saunders

Dame Cicely Saunders, physician. She was the founder of the modern hospice movement.

1920-07-25 06:14:19

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin, crystallographer. Her work was key in understanding the fine structure of DNA.

1928-07-23 16:27:56

Vera Rubin

Vera Rubin, astronomer. She was the second women to receive the Gold Medal (1996) and is best known for her work in galaxy rotation.

1929-06-24 16:27:56

Carolyn S. Shoemaker

Carolyn S. Shoemaker, astronomer. She co-discovered Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9.

1941-07-19 16:27:56

Carole Jordan

Carole Jordan, solar physicist. She was the first women to become President of the Royal Society, and the third to be awarded the Gold Medal (in 2005).

1943-07-15 09:00:00

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, astronomer. She discovered the first pulsar but was famously excluded from the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics, which went to her supervisor, Anthony Hewish. In February 2014, she became the first woman to be President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

1946-05-18 14:23:11

Celia Hoyles

Celia Hoyles, mathematician and educationalist. She became the second female President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in 2014.

1946-08-05 09:00:00

Shirley Ann Jackson

Shirley Ann Jackson, scientist and educator. As a woman and African American, she went on to achieve a number of milestones in the field of physics for her gender and race.

1950-12-31 22:03:32

Margaret Burnett

Margaret Burnett, computer scientist. A distinguished professor, one of her most well known areas of research is on the gender differences in human-computer interactions

1977-05-01 04:49:25

Maryam Mirzakhani

Maryam Mirzakhani, mathematician. In 2014, she was the first woman (and first Iranian) to win the Fields Medal, the most prestigious medal in mathematics.

1981-12-01 18:53:53

Melanie Wood

Melanie Wood, mathematician. She became the first female American to make the US International Mathematical Olympiad team at the impressive age of 16.

2013-01-01 02:23:11

Women in Mathematics policy

By 2013, the leading UK applied mathematics society, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, followed the London Mathematical Society in publishing a policy on Women in Mathematics.

2016-01-14 05:37:01

100 years of Women in RAS

On 14th January 1916, the Royal Astronomical Society accepted its first women Fellows.

Celebrate Women in STEM

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