3 Women Scientists Whose Discoveries Were Credited to Men

3 Women Scientists Whose Discoveries Were Credited to Men

Here’s a look at three women scientists who were trailblazers during a time when men dominated the field of science.
 Rosalind Franklin Photo Courtesy Jewish Chronicle Archive/Heritage Images via Wikipedia.org  Rosalind Franklin   Probably the most well-known of these women is Rosalind Elsie Franklin (1920 –1958). Franklin was an English chemist whose work led to the discovery of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). But her role in this revolutionary finding would go largely unrecognized until after her death. In fact, even though Franklin herself obtained the very first image of DNA fibers using X-ray crystallography and she had several working papers describing the structural qualities of DNA in progress, her yet-to-be-published discovery was shared with others (unbeknownst to her). And in 1953, American biologist James D. Watson(born April 6, 1928) and English physicist Francis Crick (1916 – 2004) took credit for the discovery of the three-dimensional double helix structure of DNA in their published article “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” in the 171st volume of Nature. Although they included a footnote acknowledging that they were “stimulated by a general knowledge” of Franklin’s unpublished contributions, it was Watson and Crick who went on to receive a Nobel Prize in 1962.
 Chien-Shiung Wu Photo Courtesy Smithsonian Institution via Wikimedia Commons Chien-Shiung Wu     A similar set of events occurred when Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997), a Chinese-American female experimental physicist, upended a law of physics but her findings were credited to two male theoretical physicists, Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang, who initially approached Wu to help disprove the law of parity (the quantum mechanics law that held that two physical systems, such as atoms, are mirror images that behave in identical ways). Wu’s experiments using cobalt-60, a radioactive form of the cobalt metal, overturned this law which led to a Nobel Prize for Yang and Lee in 1957, although Wu was excluded.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell Photo By Roger W Haworth (Flickr) via Wikimedia Commons Jocelyn Bell Burnell  (born July 15, 1943), an Irish astrophysicist, discovered the first radio pulsars as a 24-year-old postgraduate student in Cambridge on November 28, 1967. While analyzing data printed out on three miles of paper from a radio telescope she helped assemble, Bell noticed a signal that was pulsing with great regularity and strength.Despite having been the first to ever observe a pulsar, Bell Burnell was largely excluded from the initial accompanying accolades associated with this discovery. In fact, her supervisor, Antony Hewish would go on to earn a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1974 (along Martin Ryle) while Bell Burnell was excluded.

History – Bessie Blount Griffin

Meet Bessie Blount Griffin, a physical therapist, inventor, and forensic scientist who invented an electronic feeding device in 1951 to help amputees feed themselves. She also invented the cardboard disposable emesis basis.

A physical therapist working with wounded soldiers during World War II, Griffin realized that soldiers struggled with feeding themselves. She programmed a tube to deliver one bite of a meal at a time to a disabled patient. Whenever he or she was prepared for the next bite, the patient would bite down on the tube. She later simplified her invention so that it could be fit in a brace around a person’s neck, and accomplish the same function.  Skeptical, the American Veterans Administration did not accept Griffin’s invention. She sold the patent and rights to the French government, who supported the large-scale production of her invention so that it could reach those in need. Read the entire article here.

Do You Know Marie Daly?

Marie M. DalyMarie M. Daly   Chemist, Scientist, Scientist(1921–2003)  

Marie M. Daly is best known for being the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States. Marie M. Daly was born on April 16, 1921, in Queens, New York. She was raised in an education-oriented family, and Daly quickly received her B.S. and M.S. in chemistry at Queens College and New York University. After completing her Ph.D. at Columbia—and becoming the first African-American woman to obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States—Daly taught and conducted research. She died in New York City on October 28, 2003.   Read more here.