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Women in Science and Engineering: Home

Last Updated: Apr 17, 2024 10:46 AM


This guide provides resources on biographies of notable women scientists. It also is designed to inspire young women to enter the sciences, offering resources for developing an interest and education that will lead to careers.

Women have contributed richly to the achievements of science and engineering in the United States. As pointed out by the National Women's History Project, it is unfortunate that many of these accomplishments have been forgotten, ignored, and even hidden as a result of cultural and social norms. Recent years have seen great strides in recognizing the contributions of women in all disciplines and fields of study.

The National Women's History Project has been one of the organizations to lead the way. The Women in Mathematics and
Science poster and Outstanding Women in Math and Science photographic series were produced by the National Women's History Project in Windsor, California.

The SEIC has also acquired the poster set, Inventive Women, featuring the accomplishments and patents of eleven women
inventors. A portrait of the inventor, a brief description of her achievements, and a list of five other women inventors in the
same field comprise each poster. These posters are complemented by a poster which provides a narrative of the history of women inventors. (This series was also produced by the National Women's History Project and partially funded by a grant from AT&T.)

Originally an exhibit in the Science & Engineering Information Center (SEIC), this page supplemented the physical permanent exhibit of the same name. The exhibit, on display in the SEIC, provides a visual statement to acknowledge the scientific and technical achievements of women.


Individual Women in Science

UB librarians have compiled the following list of Internet resources that highlight women's achievements in science,
engineering, technology, and mathematics:

  • L'association Femmes et Sciences
  • Association for Women in Science
  • Australian Women in Physics
  • (
  • BeWise (Belgian Women in Science) . BeWiSe is dedicated to achieving equal and full participation of women in all
  • scientific disciplines and at all levels, because diversity will promote scientific excellence and progress further.
  • (
  • Celebrate National Women's History Month
  • (
  • Biographies of Women Mathematicians
  • (
  • German association of Women in Science and Technology
  • (
  • IEEE Women in Engineering Home Page
  • (
  • National Women's History Project
  • (
  • Women Noble Prize Winners
  • (
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • (
  • Women in Mathematics, Science & Elsewhere
  • Biographies of Women in Science (Eastern Illinois Univ.).


Data on science infrastructure: education, employment, support, etc.

  • National Science Foundation

Information on women in science

Information on academic women

Specific References

  • "Breaking Anonymity: the chilly climate for women faculty." The Chilly Collective. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1995.
  • Caplan, Paul J. Lifting a ton of feathers: a woman's guide for surviving in the academic world. University of Toronto Press,1993.
  • Cohen, Hal. "The Baby Bias." New York Times 4 August 2002.
  • Hewlett, Silvia Ann. "Executive Women and the Myth of Having It All." Harvard Business Review (Apr. 2002): 66-73.
  • History of Women In Science & Technology (Yale).
  • Scardilli, Brandi. "A Do-It-Yourself Approach to STEM Education for Girls" Information Today 33:3 (Apr. 2016): 1, 24.
  • Sonnert, Gerhard and Gerald Holton. Gender differences in science careers: the project access study. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995. 


The Outstanding Female in Math Chair, and Science photograph series was provided to the SEIC by Professor Mary Bisson (UB Department of Biological Sciences). For a story of the first Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, see the March 7, 2002 issue of The Reporter).

All visual materials from the National Women's History Project (NWHP). In addition to the posters and photo displays used for SEIC's exhibit, NWHP produces a variety of educational materials and women's history resources which are described in their Women's History Catalogue.

National Women's History Project
7738 Bell Road
Windsor, CA 95492-8518
707/ 838-6000 voice
707/838-0478 fax

Featured Women in Science and Engineering (Selection)


Anna Johnson Pell Wheeler (older)

Anna Johnson Pell Wheeler (1883-1966) Mathematician

Eminent scholar and educator; her research centered on functional analysis.
First woman to deliver the prestigious Colloquium Lectures of the American Mathematical Society in 1927.

Anna Johnson Pell Wheeler (younger)
Margaret Mead Margaret Mead (1901-1978) Anthropologist

Authority in cultural anthropology; best known for her research on the impact of culture on gender roles.A prolific and popular author, she published widely on issues including: family, race, and women in world cultures.


Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909-2012) Biologist

Researcher noted for her discoveries of the NGF (nerve growth factor) and the EGF (epidermal growth factor); winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in medicine.

Rita Levi-Montalcini in Lab


Gertrude B. Elion
Gertrude B. Elion (b.1918) Pharmacologist
Researcher and inventor of drugs for the treatment of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, herpes virus and kidney disease.1988 Nobel prize winner in medicine for her development of azathioprine,a drug that prevents organ rejection in transplant patients.
Chien-Shiung Wu 2
Chien-Shiung Wu (b. 1912) Nuclear Physicist
Awarded the National Medal of Science in 1976; known for her
experimental work in the precise measurement of correlations in
various types of interactions, including: weak interactions in nuclei,
sickle cell anemia and X-rays and gamma rays emitted by muonic
Chien-Shiung Wu
Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941) Astronomer
Expert in spectrograms, she developed the standard star classification system; during her more than forty-year tenure at the Harvard College Observatory, she cataloged over 300,000 stars.
With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme.


WISE Programs (Women in Science & Engineering)

Women in Science and Engineering (University at Buffalo). Exchange ideas, gain confidence, and network with female peers and colleagues

Women in Science and Engineering (Stony Brook)

Wise Campaign (UK). WISE inspires girls and women to study and build careers using science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Biological Sciences Librarian

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Fred Stoss
105 Lockwood Memorial Library