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Women in Science
Marie Curie

Traditionally girls and young women have not been encouraged to pursue science as a regular part of their personal and intellectual development. As a result the contribution women, now the majority of the population, make to science is not nearly as great as it could or should be for the welfare of science and of society. WISL encourages the participation of girls and young women in science by making them aware of role models and examining efforts of these models in the advancement of science. WISL emphasizes mentoring, decreasing isolation and stereotyping, and creating supportive environments. Special efforts are made to promote pathways to success in academic and professional settings for women at the college level and beyond.


News Stories and Items of Interest About Women in Science

Evelyn Fox Keller (1936–2023)
Physicist and feminist scholar of science

How Sexist Is Science?
The findings are more complicated than is often reported.

Shepherding the Digital Revolution: Smart Sheep Breeding
By Dr. Ambreen Hamdani

Overlooked No More:
Elizabeth Wagner Reed, Who Resurrected Legacies of Women in Science

Triangulating Math, Mozart and ‘Moby-Dick’

Science mom: UW scientist joins campaign to teach fellow mothers
about climate change

Postage stamp to honor female physicist who many say
should have won the Nobel Prize

Overlooked No More: Eunice Foote, Climate Scientist Lost to History

Q&A: Professor Stephanie Diem researches nuclear fusion 'to help save the world'

Poet of the Sea, 1940s–1950s
Most know Rachel Carson for her work on the dangers of chemical pollutants, but the writer’s earlier prose took readers on a tour of a mysterious underwater world.

UW–Madison geneticist named science ambassador
to girls and young women

The Remarkable Life of the First Woman on the Harvard Faculty

Q&A: Institute for Discovery director Jo Handelsman
takes scientific collaboration to a new level

Frances Arnold Turns Microbes Into Living Factories

‘Knitting Is Coding’ and Yarn Is Programmable in This Physics Lab

How the First Female Dean of N.Y.U.’s Engineering School Spends Her Sundays

This physicist is trying to make sense of the brain’s tangled networks

Katie Bouman: The woman behind the first black hole image

A Groundbreaking Mathemetician on the Gender Politics of Her Field

Karen Uhlenbeck Is First Woman to Win Abel Prize for Mathematics

Meet the Amazing Women of Chemistry
C&EN has compiled a collection of interviews, profiles, and career snapshots
of women in the molecular sciences

The Secret History of Women in Coding
Computer programming once had much better gender balance than it does today.
What went wrong?

‘Keep the Damned Women Out’
Fifty years of coeducation at American colleges

How a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Smashed the Gender Divide in American High Schools

‘Enough Is Enough’: Science, Too, Has a Problem With Harassment

Kavli Prize-winning astrochemist looks back at her career probing chemical complexity in space
Leiden University’s Ewine van Dishoeck talks about building instruments for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array and the James Webb telescopes
2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics

Overlooked No More:
Beatrice Tinsley, Astronomer Who Saw the Course of the Universe

Breaking Down Barriers to Successful Science:
An Evening with Geraldine Richmond

A Celebrated Physicist with a Passion for Music

Nearly 900 People Have Won Nobel Prizes. Only 48 Were Women.

Why Female Students Leave STEM

With Snowflakes and Unicorns, Marina Ratner
and Maryam Mirzakhani Explored a Universe in Motion

Meet Physics Girl, the YouTuber who makes a living explaining science

Asking "Why" Put Geri Richmond on Track Toward the Medal of Science

President Barack Obama says, "This Is What A Feminist Looks Like"

Eugenia Chen Makes Math a Piece of Cake

How to Navigate Your Career In a Male-Dominated Field

The 'Benefits' of Black Physics Students

Holloway named inagural fellow of AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute

TV's Next Big Star: A Female MacGyver

Naomi Oreskes, a Lightning Rod in a Changing Climate

Madeleine Jacobs: A career is like a love affair

WISL Featured Scientist: Jane Lubchenco

WISL Featured Scientist: Helen Blackwell

Anna Atkins: Google Doodle artfully celebrates a true-blue photographic pioneer

A Radical Journey of Art, Science, and Entrepreneurship: A Self-Taught Victorian Woman's Visionary Ornithological Illustrations

The untold history of women in science and technology

Reflections of a woman pioneer: Dr. Mildred S. Dresselhaus

New nonprofit supports women in science

Why are there still so few women in science?

A Scientist's Secret Recipe for Success

From the Science History Institute:
Women in Chemistry

Women in Chemistry: An Interview with Supawan Tantayanon

Women in STEM: A gender gap to innovation
A U.S. Department of Commerce report from the Economics and Statistics Administration
A gender gap to innovation: Responding to the underrepresentation of women in science
An article by UW's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in response to the "Women in STEM" report linked above.

Trailblazing black scientist encourages women to follow suit
Michel Martin of NPR's "Tell Me More" talks to Shirley Jackson, president of Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and the first African-American woman to run a top research university, about being a woman in a male-dominated field

Men Are from Earth, Women Are from Earth:
Science vs. the Media on Psychological Gender Differences

Two presentations by Janet Shibley Hyde
WISL's Conversations in Science Series, November 20, 2003
WISL-sponsored talk, September 3, 2008

Fifty years of expanding girls' horizons in science, math
Thousands of Wisconsin women have been influenced by the Expanding Your Horizons program at UW-Madison

Can women be creative scientists?
The dangers of testing for creative ability

Recommended Web Resources for Women in Science

Sally Ride Science:

Association of Women in Science:

Mentor Net:

Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute:


March 14th - April 30th, 2005: Women in Chemistry

Women in Chemistry is a traveling exhibition that showcases women chemists who have helped create our modern world and their historic contributions to science and technology. From the action of atoms to the substance of stars, these women have given us new visions of the material world and our place in it. The traveling exhibition encourages young women to explore possible careers in chemistry by presenting the rich history of women chemists and their contributions to everyday life.

This exhibition was presented in the atrium of the new Chemistry Building.




For more information contact SciFun@chem.wisc.edu