Amelia Earhart is better known for being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic and for her mysterious disappearance than for her contributions to STEM fields. But she was one of the first women to become a pilot, and she helped test different airplanes on her daredevil flights. She also flew planes containing scientific instruments that allowed scientists a look at the stratosphere as we reported back in 1936, a year before she disappeared over the Pacific. Todd Detweiler, Zachary Gilyard Popular Science
For the first time in over a century, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will feature a woman on paper currency in the United States. Starting in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the year that the right to vote was extended to all American women, Alexander Hamilton’s portrait will either step aside or have to share the spotlight with a woman. The Treasury is asking for the public’s input as they make their decision, and you can provide your own suggestions on social media using the hashtag #TheNew10. Here at Popular Science, we figured we’d make our own list of 10 women that have contributed to the fields of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) who we think fit the bill.
None of these suggestions are especially likely to be chosen, given that the theme of the Treasury’s campaign is “Democracy” not “STEM,” and the leading suggestions of Harriet Tubman, Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others, are pretty fantastic. But we still like the idea of giving these incredible science figures the recognition they’re overdue.
Each of these amazing women contributed something momentous to science, whether it was shattering a glass ceiling (like Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride) or performing groundbreaking research in fields important to all of our lives today. Sadly, most were overlooked in their own times because of their gender, and still lack the recognition they deserve today. Flip through our gallery to learn more about these pioneering women of science.