Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

women in STEM

Emmy Noether, Mathematics Trailblazer

In the early 20th century in Germany, Emmy Noether pursued a career in mathematics, despite many obstacles in her path. She became one of the most respected members of her field, and developed mathematical theory that's still important today.

Dr. Virginia Apgar

Dr. Virginia Apgar broke new ground in the fields of obstetrics and anesthesiology in the middle of the 20th century. When babies are born today, one of the tools doctors use to measure whether they're thriving on their own is the Apgar score.

Archaeology Interview: Harvard Indian College

Holly chats with archaeologists Patricia Capone and Diana Loren about Harvard's Indian College, the school's importance to Colonial history and the ongoing archaeology of Harvard Yard.

Dr. Vera Peters

Dr. Peters helped revolutionize the treatment of both breast cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma. But, at the time, her work was largely dismissed. Read the show notes here.

Caroline Herschel: Astronomy's Cinderella

Herschel managed to break the barrier of women in scientific fields far earlier than you might suspect, in part because of her association with her brother, and in equal measure due to her steadfast dedication to her work. Read the show notes here.

Frances Glessner Lee and Tiny Forensics

Many forensic investigation standards of today have roots in the work of a Chicago heiress who was more interested in crime scenes than high society. Her most notable contribution to the field came in the form of tiny homicide dioramas. Read the show notes here.

Elizabeth Blackwell, America's First Female M.D.

It's not a story of a person with a childhood dream of pursuing a career that wasn't available to them. Dr. Blackwell had no interest in medicine as a child. But she paved the way for women who came after her and changed the face of medicine in the U.S. Read the show notes for this episode here.

Jane Addams, Pt. 2

Jane Addams was a leader and advocate, especially for the working poor - but her work really boiled down to a better quality of life for everyone. Part two covers her life beyond Hull House, controversial war stance, Nobel Prize and legacy.

Jane Addams, Pt. 1

Jane Addams was one of the foremost women in America's Progressive Era. She co founded the social settlement Hull House, spoke and wrote on social issues, and had a hand in the founding of many social organizations, including the NAACP and ACLU.

Hypatia of Alexandria

Hypatia was one of the earliest female mathematicians and astronomers -- though she wasn't the very first, she was among the greatest. At the time of her murder, she was the foremost mathematician and astronomer in the West - possibly in the world.