Mildred Dresselhaus, Queen of Carbon

Born in a poor suburb of The Bronx during the Depression, Professor Mildred Dresselhaus grew up at some of the worst schools in New York City. Now 83, she remains a faculty member of the MIT, where she is recognised as a pioneer of nanoscience driving new fields of energy research.

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Jane Goodall, primatologist

At the age of 26, Dame Jane Goodall embarked on a journey to Tanzania to uncover the elusive world of wild chimpanzees, beginning what would be a 45-year study that would capture the fascination of millions. As she celebrates her 80th birthday today, Jane is remembered for her groundbreaking observations that have allowed a better understanding of our close primate cousins, alongside her lifelong work in conservation.

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Kate Richardson, software developer at JUSTEAT

Kate RichardsonI’m a Software Developer at JUSTEAT, and before that I was a Developer and Technical Specialist at the Health and Social Care Information Centre. At JUSTEAT I get the opportunity to work with a lot of really interesting technology such as Amazon Web Services, and I work with some great people.

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Maria Goeppert-Mayer, theoretical physicist

As a Nobel laureate well known for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atom, Maria Goeppert-Mayer was often asked why girls needed to study science. She liked to retort with “do girls only have to learn how to read just to study cook books?” She is one of only two women to have won the Nobel Prize in physics.

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Roger Arliner Young, zoologist

Few black women in the United States had the freedom to engage in science research prior to World War Two. With a host of personal, professional and prejudiced barriers working against her, Roger Arliner Young nonetheless became the first African American woman to receive a doctoral degree in zoology, advancing the marine and biological sciences along the way.

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Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, feminist and Britain’s first female physician

As the first female physician in England, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson is remembered as a historical UK feminist who made strides in founding the first hospital staffed by women. The claimant of a number of other significant ‘firsts’ for women, she was also the first woman in Britain to be elected to a school board, and as Mayor of Aldeburgh, Britain’s first female mayor and magistrate.

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Radhika Nagpal, computer scientist

Professor Radhika Nagpal is a computer scientist specializing in self-organising computer systems. At the intersection of robotics and biology, she applies principles from phenomena such as the organization of cells and the behaviour of social insects in order to design robotics that can better adapt to their environmental surroundings.

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