The Most Famous Black Female Scientist: Celebrating Groundbreaking Achievements

Choose the black female scientist you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 25, 2024 07:02
Welcome to StrawPoll, where opinions matter and voices are heard! We're excited to present our latest ranking, "Who is the most famous black female scientist?" This captivating poll features some of the most brilliant and inspiring black women in the world of science who have shattered barriers and made groundbreaking contributions to their fields. We invite you to explore, vote for your favorite, and even suggest an additional name we may have missed. Together, let's celebrate the achievements of these trailblazing female scientists and ignite curiosity for the incredible world of scientific discovery. Cast your vote now and join the conversation!

Who Is the Most Famous Black Female Scientist?

  1. 1
    Mae Jemison
    NASA · Public domain

    Mae Jemison

    Mae Jemison
    She is the first African American woman to travel in space and has also been a physician and engineer.
    Mae Jemison is an astronaut, physician, and engineer who became the first African American woman to travel into space. She is widely recognized for her contributions in promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and for breaking barriers as a woman of color in the field of space exploration.
    • First African American Woman in Space: Yes
    • Profession: Astronaut, Physician, Engineer
    • Promoter of STEM education: Yes
    • Gender: Female
    • Race/Ethnicity: African American
    Mae Jemison in other rankings
  2. 2
    Katherine Johnson
    NASA · Public domain

    Katherine Johnson

    Katherine Johnson
    She was a mathematician and was one of the key figures in the success of the early space program in the United States. She was also featured in the movie "Hidden Figures".
    Katherine Johnson was a renowned mathematician and physicist who made significant contributions to the field of space exploration. She was known for her exceptional mathematical abilities and played a crucial role in calculating trajectories for numerous space missions, including the Apollo program. Johnson's work at NASA helped propel the United States into space and she was recognized as one of the most important figures in the success of early space missions.
    • Field: Mathematics and Physics
    • Contributions: Space exploration, trajectory calculations
    • Agency: NASA
    • Notable Projects: Apollo program
    • Achievements: Presidential Medal of Freedom, NASA Langley Research Center's Computational Research Facility named in her honor
    Katherine Johnson in other rankings
  3. 3
    Gladys West
    US Air Force · Public domain
    She was a mathematician who helped develop the Global Positioning System (GPS).
  4. 4

    Chien-Shiung Wu

    Chien-Shiung Wu
    She was a physicist who made significant contributions to the field of nuclear physics.
    Chien-Shiung Wu, also known as the First Lady of Physics, was a renowned scientist who made significant contributions in the field of experimental physics. She was a Chinese-American physicist and educator, born on May 31, 1912, in Liuhe, China. Wu is best known for her work on the beta decay of atomic nuclei, which helped confirm the violation of the principle of conservation of parity, earning her the recognition as the most beautiful scientist by the Chinese public.
    • Nationality: Chinese-American
    • Birth Date: May 31, 1912
    • Birthplace: Liuhe, China
    • Field: Experimental Physics
    • Contributions: Beta decay of atomic nuclei, violation of conservation of parity
    Chien-Shiung Wu in other rankings
  5. 5
    She was a biologist and was the first black woman to lead a major academic institution, California State University, Fullerton.
  6. 6
    She was a physicist and was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT. She has also served as the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
    Shirley Ann Jackson in other rankings
  7. 7
    She was the CEO of Xerox from 2009-2016 and was the first black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company.
    Ursula Burns in other rankings
  8. 8
    She was a biochemist and was the first black woman in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry.
  9. 9
    Patricia Bath
    National Library of Medicine · Public domain
    She was an ophthalmologist and was the first African American woman to complete a residency in ophthalmology. She also invented a device for cataract surgery.
  10. 10
    She was a physicist and was the first Hispanic woman to travel in space. She has also served as the director of the Johnson Space Center.
    Ellen Ochoa in other rankings

Missing your favorite black female scientist?


Ranking factors for famous black female scientist

  1. Scientific Contributions
    The impact and significance of their research and discoveries to the scientific community.
  2. Academic Achievements
    Educational qualifications, awards, and recognition received.
  3. Social and Cultural Impacts
    How their work has influenced, inspired, or affected the lives of people, particularly for black women and other underrepresented groups.
  4. Historical Significance
    Their place in history and contributions to breaking barriers and advancing scientific knowledge and diversity.
  5. Popularity and Visibility
    Their public image, media coverage, and influence on social media and other platforms.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous black female scientist. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or scientist is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 176 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each scientist once every 24 hours. The rank of each scientist is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous black female scientist

Black female scientists have made groundbreaking contributions to the field of science throughout history. Despite facing many obstacles and barriers, these women persevered and paved the way for future generations. From Marie Daly, the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry, to Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to travel to space, Black female scientists have made significant contributions to science and technology. In this poll, we aim to recognize and celebrate the achievements of these remarkable women and determine who is the most famous Black female scientist.

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