Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Today is International Women’s Day, celebrated every March 8th. To celebrate women’s
achievements, TRI would like to remember the women who have made history in science.
First documented women to be a mathematician was Hypatia from Alexandria, who also
studied philosophy and astronomy and lived from 351 to 370.
In the middle ages, a woman with great abilities and considered a great scientist was
Hildegard de Bingen (1098-1179). She was recognized as a saint because her abilities were
confused as miracles. Hildegard wrote books about botany and medicine.
Several years latter Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799) leave her mark discovering several
math equations, that are still used and is author of the first algebra book. She was the first
woman to be invited to teach at a University. Elizabeth Arden (1884- 1966) was a nurse and
is responsible for the creation of beauty products, which now carries the name of cosmetic
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815 – 1852) was an English mathematician,
daughter of a poet Lord Byron and also responsible for writing the first algorithm processed
by a machine. Ada is considered one of the first programmers in history.
Off course Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) couldn’t be out of this list, since she is considered the
mother of modern physics with her research about radioactive products, being also the first
women to win a Noble prize and the first to be laureated two times, in chemistry and in
physics. Florence Sabin (1871-1953), the “first lady” of American science was famous by her
study of immunology and was the first women to win a chair in the National Science
Academy in United Stated.
In the 20 th century, several women stood out in science. Creator of Apgar scale, that
evaluated new-borns, with this exam Virginia Apgar (1909 -1974) reduced infant mortality
and also helped infant’s health with discovers about harmful substances used at child-birth.
Nise da Silveira (1905- 1999) was a Brazilian renowned psychiatrist who fought against
aggressive therapies. She became character on a book “Memories of Prison” by Graciliano
Ramos. Gertrude Bell Elion (1918 -1999) was an American who dedicated her studies to
smooth symptoms of diseases such as Aids, herps and leukemia, which earn her a Nobel
prize in medicine in 1988.
In 2018, Donna Strickland (1959 – today) was awarded the Noble Prize in Physics for her
discover of the shortest and most intense laser pulse. Most recent Nobel Prize in Chemistry, in 2020, was for Jennifer Doudna (1964 – today) and Emmanuelle Charpentier (1968 –
today) who developed a revolutionary method of editing genomes.
These are some of several inspiring women and TRI is proud of having talented women
working in our facilities since 20 th century (The pictures portray women working in the
laboratory in 1050’s).
We are also proud to have so many intelligent and hard-working women in our team, contributing for the science and knowledge that TRI has been developing in the past years.
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” –Michelle Obama