71 episodes

For every Marie Curie or Rosalind Franklin whose story has been told, hundreds of female scientists remain unknown to the public at large. In this series, we illuminate the lives and work of a diverse array of groundbreaking scientists who, because of time, place and gender, have gone largely unrecognized. Each season we focus on a different scientist, putting her narrative into context, explaining not just the science but also the social and historical conditions in which she lived and worked. We also bring these stories to the present, painting a full picture of how her work endures.

Lost Women of Science Lost Women of Science

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 188 Ratings

For every Marie Curie or Rosalind Franklin whose story has been told, hundreds of female scientists remain unknown to the public at large. In this series, we illuminate the lives and work of a diverse array of groundbreaking scientists who, because of time, place and gender, have gone largely unrecognized. Each season we focus on a different scientist, putting her narrative into context, explaining not just the science but also the social and historical conditions in which she lived and worked. We also bring these stories to the present, painting a full picture of how her work endures.

    Best Of: The Highest of All Ceilings, Astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

    Best Of: The Highest of All Ceilings, Astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

    Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin was in her early 20s when she figured out what the stars are made of. Both she and her groundbreaking findings were ahead of their time. Continuing the legacy of women working at the Harvard College Observatory, Cecilia charted the way for a generation of female astronomers to come. This Best Of episode of Lost Women of Science follows Cecilia’s journey of discovery, journals her drive and determination against all odds, and takes you to the Harvard College Observatory itself to walk in Cecilia’s footsteps.

    • 29 min
    The Victorian Woman Who Chased Eclipses

    The Victorian Woman Who Chased Eclipses

    The year is 1897 and Annie Maunder, an amateur astronomer, is boarding a steamship bound for India from England. Her goal: to photograph a total solar eclipse. Like the many people whose gaze will turn upwards in North America on April 8, Maunder was fascinated by the secrets of the sun and was determined to travel the globe and unlock them. She understood that the few minutes of darkness during a solar eclipse presented a special opportunity to explore the nature of the sun. Her observations led to our greater understanding of how the sun affects the earth, but like so many early female scientists, her contributions and achievements have been forgotten.

    • 30 min
    Lost Women of Science Conversations: Mischievous Creatures

    Lost Women of Science Conversations: Mischievous Creatures

    In this episode of Lost Women of Science Conversations, Michelle Nijhuis talks to historian Catherine McNeur about how she rediscovered the lives and work of Elizabeth and Margaretta Morris, two natural scientists who made significant contributions to botany and entomology in the mid-19th Century. Elizabeth collected rare plant species and sent them to institutions around the world, and Margaretta not only discovered new insects but also helped farmers combat the pests that were devastating their fields. Nevertheless, by both design and accident, these women were lost to history. McNeur tells us how that happened and how, piece by piece, she recovered their stories.

    • 25 min
    The Cognitive Scientist Who Unraveled the Mysteries of Language

    The Cognitive Scientist Who Unraveled the Mysteries of Language

    While working at the Salk Institute in California, Ursula Bellugi discovered that sign language was made up of specific building blocks that were assembled following strict rules, much like in spoken language. Her subsequent discoveries about the complexities of sign language led both to linguistic breakthroughs and to changes in the way deaf people felt about signing. Bellugi demonstrated that sign language is as rich and complex as any spoken language. Her work deepened our understanding of what it means to communicate as humans.

    • 16 min
    Best Of: Meet the Physicist who Spoke Out Against the Bomb She Helped Create

    Best Of: Meet the Physicist who Spoke Out Against the Bomb She Helped Create

    Katharine “Kay” Way was a nuclear physicist who worked at multiple Manhattan Project sites. She was an expert in radioactive decay. But after the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, she became increasingly concerned about the ethics of nuclear weapons. Dr. Way signed the Szilard Petition and worked to spread awareness of the moral responsibility surrounding atomic weaponry, including co-editing the influential One World or None: a Report to the Public on the Full Meaning of the Atomic Bomb, remaining an outspoken advocate for fairness and justice.

    • 23 min
    How Lilian Bland Built Herself A Plane

    How Lilian Bland Built Herself A Plane

    “Hoots and derision, which did not worry me at all,” Lilian Bland wrote, describing her visit to an airshow in Blackpool, England in 1909. She’d been telling everyone there that she intended to build and fly her own airplane. They were unimpressed. Lilian was undeterred. She built a DIY plane of bamboo, wood, and fabric, with a bicycle handlebar for steering and an engine she carried from England back to her home in Ireland. But would the Mayfly, as she called it, fly?

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
188 Ratings

188 Ratings

CrazyPp! ,

Needed something new

I was getting saddened from all the true crime podcasts. I stumbled upon “Lost Women of Science”, and I’m so glad I did. It’s so interesting! I enjoy the delivery of the information. I hope this gets more publicity!

*AWP ,

Hidden Stories Brought to Life Hear it from the Authors!

Thanks you for sharing these stories and the legacies of ignored, hidden contributions, and achievements of ordinary and extraordinary women.

kkell1113 ,

Love!

I truly love this podcast. I enjoy listening to the stories of women who have faded into history. To hear their life history provides inspiration to working mothers today.

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