The Most Famous Female Scientist: Celebrating Pioneering Women in Science

Choose the female scientist you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 26, 2024 07:04
Discover and celebrate the inspiring achievements of brilliant women in the world of science! StrawPoll invites you to participate in our latest ranking: "Who is the most famous female scientist?" From groundbreaking discoveries to innovative inventions, these trailblazing women have shaped our understanding of the universe and paved the way for future generations. Join thousands of others in casting your vote for your favorite female scientist or suggest a deserving candidate we might have missed. Don't miss this chance to shed light on the invaluable contributions of these extraordinary women, and be a part of a vibrant community that recognizes and applauds their genius. Click further to explore, learn and let your voice be heard in the realm of science!

Who Is the Most Famous Female Scientist?

  1. 1

    Marie Curie

    Marie Curie
    Marie Curie known for her pioneering research in radioactivity and for being the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
    Marie Curie was a renowned physicist and chemist who made pioneering contributions to the field of radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and remains the only person to have received Nobel Prizes in two different scientific disciplines. Curie's groundbreaking research laid the foundation for modern nuclear physics and medical treatments.
    • Birthdate: November 7, 1867
    • Nationality: Polish, later became French
    • Nobel Prizes: Physics (1903), Chemistry (1911)
    • Discoveries: Polonium and Radium
    • First Woman: To win a Nobel Prize
    Marie Curie in other rankings
  2. 2

    Jane Goodall

    Jane Goodall herself
    Jane Goodall known for her groundbreaking research on chimpanzees and animal behavior.
    Jane Goodall is not a physical object but a renowned British primatologist and anthropologist. She is considered one of the most beautiful elderly women due to her incredible spirit, compassion, and tireless dedication towards the study and conservation of chimpanzees and their natural habitats.
    • Age: 87
    • Nationality: British
    • Field of expertise: Primatology and Anthropology
    • Notable Achievements: Discovering chimpanzees' tool-making behavior, pioneering research on their social and family relationships, establishing the Jane Goodall Institute for animal welfare and environmental conservation
    • Awards: Multiple honorary degrees and awards including the Kyoto Prize, Benjamin Franklin Medal, and Prince of Asturias Award
    Jane Goodall in other rankings
  3. 3
    Rosalind Franklin
    MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Rosalind Franklin

    Raymond Gosling
    Rosalind Franklin known for her contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA.
    Rosalind Franklin is a scientific instrument used for X-ray crystallography, a technique used to determine the 3D structure of molecules. It played a pivotal role in discovering the double helix structure of DNA.
    • Type: Scientific instrument
    • Function: X-ray crystallography
    • Field of Application: Molecular biology
    • Discovery: Double helix structure of DNA
    • Year of Creation: 1951
    Rosalind Franklin in other rankings
  4. 4
    Ada Lovelace
    Margaret Sarah Carpenter · Public domain

    Ada Lovelace

    Ada Lovelace
    Ada Lovelace known as the world's first computer programmer, for her work on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.
    Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as the world's first computer programmer. She was an English mathematician and writer, best known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine.
    • Birthdate: December 10, 1815
    • Nationality: English
    • Field: Mathematics and Computer Science
    • Accomplishments: Developed algorithms for the Analytical Engine, foresaw the potential for computers beyond simple calculations
    • Collaborator: Charles Babbage
    Ada Lovelace in other rankings
  5. 5

    Rachel Carson

    Rachel Carson
    Rachel Carson known for her influential book "Silent Spring" which helped launch the environmental movement.
    Rachel Carson is not a scientist, but an American marine biologist, author, and conservationist. She is renowned for her groundbreaking work in environmental conservation with a focus on the harmful effects of pesticides and her influential book 'Silent Spring'.
    • Birthdate: May 27, 1907
    • Field of Expertise: Marine Biology and Conservation
    • Publication Date: September 1962
    • Book Title: Silent Spring
    • Influence: Catalyzed the modern environmental movement
    Rachel Carson in other rankings
  6. 6
    Barbara McClintock known for her groundbreaking work in genetics, particularly in the discovery of transposable elements.
    Barbara McClintock in other rankings
  7. 7
    Mae Jemison
    NASA · Public domain

    Mae Jemison

    Mae Jemison
    Mae Jemison known for being the first African American woman to travel in space.
    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
  8. 8

    Chien-Shiung Wu

    Chien-Shiung Wu
    Chien-Shiung Wu known for her work in nuclear physics, particularly her experiments that disproved the law of conservation of parity.
    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
  9. 9
    Florence Nightingale
    Henry Hering (1814-1893) · Public domain
    Florence Nightingale known as the founder of modern nursing, for her work during the Crimean War and for her contributions to healthcare.
    Florence Nightingale in other rankings
  10. 10
    Grace Hopper
    James S. Davis · Public domain
    Grace Hopper known for her work in computer science, particularly her contributions to the development of COBOL programming language.
    Grace Hopper in other rankings

Missing your favorite female scientist?


Ranking factors for famous female scientist

  1. Contribution to science
    The impact and significance of the woman's scientific achievements, discoveries and/or inventions.
  2. Relevance and applicability of their work
    The extent to which their scientific contributions have influenced the field and impacted society.
  3. Recognition and accolades
    The number and type of awards, honors, and recognition received for their scientific work.
  4. Education and expertise
    The level of education, training, and expertise obtained in the field of science.
  5. Inspiration and legacy
    The degree to which the woman's scientific work has inspired subsequent generations of scientists and impacted the field's future.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous 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!


  • 169 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 female scientist

The field of science has been dominated by men for centuries, but there have been many pioneering women who have made significant contributions to the scientific community. From Marie Curie to Rosalind Franklin, female scientists have broken barriers and paved the way for future generations of women in STEM fields. In this poll, we aim to determine who is the most famous female scientist of all time. We encourage you to cast your vote and learn more about these remarkable women and their groundbreaking work.

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