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Science Heroes

We love highlighting scientists you may not have heard of, often with a gorgeous illustration by cartoonist and neuroscientist Matteo Farinella. We even developed a deck of cards to celebrate great, under-appreciated figures from the annals of science. You can order our tarot deck in the Massive Science Shop.

Meet Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who figured out what the universe is made of

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Stifled by sexism in Europe, she made foundational discoveries in astronomy after coming to the US

Arianna Soldati, Ludwig-Maximillians Universitat Munchen

Brittney Borowiec, Wilfrid Laurier University

Meet Alice Wilson, the Canadian geologist who did the work of five people

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Arianna Soldati, Ludwig-Maximillians Universitat Munchen

Cassie Freund, Wake Forest University

Meet Annie Jump Cannon, who cataloged and ranked over 300,000 stars by their hotness

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A century later, her system is still used today

JoEllen McBride, Astrophysics

Rear Admiral Amazing Grace Hopper taught computers English

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Alyssa Shepard, The Scripps Research Institute

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Meet Olga Aleksandrovna Ladyzhenskaya: the Russian mathematician who pushed through the Iron Curtain

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In spite of personal tragedy, dire political circumstances and deteriorating health, her passion for mathematics burned bright

Farah Qaiser, University of Toronto

Meet Annie Easley, the barrier-breaking mathematician who helped us explore the solar system

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She overcame life-long racial discrimination to complete a long and impactful career at NASA

Dan Samorodnitsky

Three facts about Helen Rodríguez-Trías, pediatrician-turned-healthcare activist

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She pushed to end sterilization, legalize abortion, and give poor people access to quality healthcare

Natalie Parletta, University of South Australia

Meet Mamie Phipps Clark, the social psychologist who helped outlaw segregated schools

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She became the first black woman to earn a PhD in psychology from Columbia University

Lauren Mackenzie Reynolds, McGill University

5 facts about Rosalind Franklin, DNA pioneer

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She helped discover DNA, got snubbed by her contemporaries, and kept right on going

Alireza Edraki, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Meet the chemist who engineered the first effective treatment of leprosy

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Alice Augusta Ball died at the age of 24. Ninety years later, we finally started recognizing her contributions.

Nadja Oertelt