Three incredible women in science who have been uncredited for their work

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

In 1967, while working with radio telescopes, Burnell discovered pulsars while she was a graduate student at Cambridge University in England. The existence of pulsars, which are the remnants of supernovas, was ground breaking. It showed that the gigantic neutron stars did not just disappear, but left behind small, dense, rapidly rotating bodies. Her findings quickly resulted in a publication followed by a Nobel Prize, but the award went to her supervisor, Anthony Hewish. “The picture people had at the time of the way that science was done was that there was a senior man—and it was always a man—who had under him a whole load of minions, junior staff, who weren’t expected to think, who were only expected to do as he said,” explained Bell Burnell in an interview with National Geographic. Despite the injustice faced by Burnell at the time of her discovery, it is now universally accepted that she was the first person to make the distinction.

Rosalind Franklin

At 33 years of age, while working as a research associate in King’s College in London, Franklin came to a discovery that revolutionized biology and genetics. Through X-ray experiments, she concluded that NA consisted of two chains and a phosphate backbone.  Her discovery -captured on an image known as Photo 51 – was leaked to James Watson and Francis Crick at Cambridge University, who were also trying to determine the structure of DNA. Using Photo 51 and Franklin’s findings, Watson and Crick published ‘their’ discovery in a series of articles in 1953. After being recognized for their discovery, Watson and Crick went on to win the 1962 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine, while Franklin received no recognition for her role.

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Actresses in Science


Mayim Bailik

Emmy-nominated actress best known for her roles on The Big Bang Theory and Blossom, Bailik possesses a doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA. She wrote her thesis on the hypomathic regulation in people with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Currently, she works towards developing curricula and encouraging young children and women to pursue science.

Lisa Kudrow:

Well-known for her portrayal of ‘Phoebe’ in the classic show Friends, Kudrow earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from Vassar College in New York. She then worked with her father, who was a headache specialist, for eight years on his study on the likelihood of left-handed individuals developing cluster headaches.

Hedy Lamarr

One of the best-known actresses of the mid-20th century, Lamarr was key in the invention of a frequency-hopping communications spectrum. The technology was use by the military – specifically during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 – and has more recently been used in wireless technologies like cellphones. Through her invention, Lamarr became the first woman to receive the Invention Convention’s BULBIE Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award in 1997.

Natalie Portmann

Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actress Natalie Portmann was a semi-finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search competition, one of the most elite and demanding high school research competitions in the world. Her project investigated a new, environment-friendly method of converting waste into useful forms of energy. She graduated with honours and her academic achievements allowed her to attend Harvard University to study neuroscience and the evolution of the mind.

Science Pick Up Lines III: Biology

Have a safe and happy day with your valentine, everyone! I’m sure you won them over using one of the punny pick up lines below. Enjoy!

  •  Baby, everytime i see you, my cardiovascular system gets all worked up
  • You know why Men are so much sexier than women? Because you can’t spell sexy without “xy”.
  • I wish I were adenine because then I could get paired with U.
  • Babe you must be a neuron, because you got some action potential
  • We have great chemistry, let’s do some biology
  • If I was an endoplasmic reticulum, how would you want me: smooth or rough?
  • I want to stick to you like glue-cose
  • My psychiatrist sent me for an MRI because she thinks I have a magnetic personality.
  • It’s a good thing you’ve got evaporative cooling, cause i’m gonna make you sweat ,
  • Let’s make like a transcription factor and response element and turn things on.
  • Do you like Science?, cause tonight your gonna sample my DNA
  • Let’s work out our orbicularis oris muscles together!
  • Want to be the substrate to my enzyme?
  • What say we slip between my beta-pleated sheets and you get to know my alpha-helix?
  • Baby, i’m gonna break you like a large non-polar substance breaks a phospholipid bilayer!
  • Baby, you must be a start codon because you are turning me on.
  • You’re so hot you denature my proteins
  • If i was an enzyme, i’d be DNA helicase so i could unzip your genes
  • If you were a concentration gradient I’d go down on you
  • Girl whenever I am near you, I undergo anaerobic respiration because you take my breath away
  • Hey baby, wanna form a zygote?
  • I don’t need neurons to stimulate your sensory system.
  • Hey baby, can I be your enzyme? because my active site is dying for a chemical reaction.