Most of us probably left school with a little knowledge of the science greats such as Einstein, Newton, and Hawking, among a handful of others. And while there’s no doubting these scientists have changed the world with their discoveries and contributions, there are a ton of other scientists with lesser-known names that have also helped shape our world. Today we’re going to drop some knowledge and introduce you to three scientists you’ve probably never heard of, and while you’re reading, you may notice something each of these scientists has in common.
Okay, you’re probably thinking we’ve lost our minds because obviously, you probably HAVE heard this name before, but we’re betting you know her from the big screen and not her contributions to the eventual invention of the GPS and Bluetooth, with her patented invention of frequency-hopping technology. Before this brilliant discovery, Hedy dated the one and only Howard Hughes and the two worked on a number of projects together, including Hedy significantly improving the design of his airplane’s wings after he complained his plane was moving too slow; Hedy cleverly did this by researching the fastest animals fins and wings. Roughly 10 years before her death, Hedy said these brilliant words: “The brains of people are more interesting than the looks I think.” And we couldn’t agree more.
Alice Augusta Ball
Ball was an American chemist that made history early on by being the first female and first African American to graduate from the University of Hawaii with a Master’s degree, then became the first female and African American professor at the university, then Ball made MORE history when she developed the method known as the Ball Method which was the most effective treatment for leprosy at the time. Now, this story gets even crazier, but the bad kind of crazy. Ball, unfortunately, died in 1916 at the young age of 24, and after her death, another chemist stole her work and published it as his own; and it wasn’t until 1922 that Ball finally received credit for all of her hard work and trailblazing ways.
Bertha Parker Pallan Cody
What immediately got our attention when researching Cody was finding out she was actually born at an archaeological dig site in New York where her father was excavating, so clearly she was born to do something great; in fact, Cody is recognized as one of the first female Native American archaeologists. After moving to Nevada Cody would often join her uncle on archaeological digs and went on to publish her findings. One of her greatest contributions was the discovery of a Pueblo site ‘Scorpion Hill’ in 1929. In a 1933 article, Cody said this of the dig: “the fragments of charcoal indicated that the room had been burned and that its roof had consisted of large beams covered with tules and arrow cane. I uncovered about half the room that day.” We’re simply in awe.
There’s no doubt that these women faced barrier after barrier in a field that was made up of mostly men, but as the saying goes: nevertheless, they persisted.