Women in Science - Mill Hill Schools

Head’s blog

Women in Science

With the School recognising both Science Week and International Women’s Day this week, it seemed appropriate to draw attention in my blog to three interesting women involved in Science and Innovation.

Grace Hopper (1906-1992)

Grace Hopper designed Harvard’s Mark I computer, a five-ton, room-size machine, in 1944. She invented the compiler that translated written language into computer code and coined the terms ‘bug’ and ‘debugging’ when she had to remove moths from the device. She was also a Rear Admiral in the US Navy and has both a guided-missile destroyer, a supercomputer and a college at Yale University named in her honour.

Stephanie Kwolek (1923 –2014)

Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar, a material five times stronger than steel and currently used around the world to protect people from bullets.

Thanks to Kwolek’s invention in 1964, Kevlar has been used in hundreds of products, including bicycle tires, tennis rackets, racing sails, body armour, frying pans, musical instruments, bulletproof vests, and more. The para-aramid synthetic fibre is five times stronger than steel. In 1995 she became the fourth woman to be added to the USA National Inventors Hall of Fame

She stated, “I don’t think there’s anything like saving someone’s life to bring you satisfaction and happiness”

Rosalind Franklin (1920 –1958)

Rosalind Franklin was a British biophysicist, was the first person to capture a photographic image while observing molecules using x-ray diffraction. She is most well known for her contributions to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid),  and in addition worked on RNA (ribonucleic acid), viruses, coal, and graphite.