Female Discoveries You Need To Know About

Buckle up your seatbelts because I'm here to take you on a journey that tells you about the most badas** yet overlooked women in history 

Rosalind Franklin – The Structure of DNA

X-ray photos of DNA taken by Franklin showed the double helix structure of DNA as we know it today. However, because male scientists James Watson and Francis Crick found the singular helix model beforehand they were given the Noble Peace Prize for the discovery. It is important to note that at the time, Watson and Crick denounced the double helix theory. 

Ada Lovelace - Computer Programming

Way back when – mid-1800 – Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer algorithm, complete with instructions. However, this is largely ignored because Cambridge University fellow Charles Babbage is often credited for the discovery as he was the one who created the machine.

Caresse Crosby – The Modern Bra

Despite the credit for the modern bra being given to the Warner Brothers Corset Company, they didn’t actually design it. In fact, it was Caresse Crosby who became frustrated with the restrictiveness of corsets and created the ‘backless brassiere’. However, she sold the patent to the Warner Brothers who capitalised on the idea and left the lasting impression that it was their sole invention.

Jocelyn Bell Burnley – Pulsars

While studying at Cambridge, and acting as a research assistant, Bell Burnley realised there were irregular radio signals being picked up, yet no one could describe the causes of them. She showed this inconsistency with her advisor, Antony Hewish, and they worked together discovering that Pulsars were to blame.

Unfortunately, her advisor and his colleague Martin Ryle received the Noble Peace prize in physics for the discovery in 1974, instead of Burnley herself.

Hedy Lamarr - Wireless Communication

Around the time of World War Two, Hedy Lamarr was a Hollywood actor starring in films such as ‘ecstasy’ (1933) and ‘Lady of the Tropics’ (1938). However, she was also incredibly intelligent (despite what men of the time might have thought) and can actually be credited for the first ever theory of wireless communication. During the war, she worked on a theory of ‘frequency hopping’ with George Antheil which would have stopped the infiltration and bugging of military radios. As per, the major authorities - at this time the US Navy - ignored her patent, but then took the idea and implemented it themselves.

The story of Lamarr has somewhat of a silver lining, as her patent was discovered in the 90’s and she was given the Electronic Frontier Foundation Award in 2000, shortly before her death.