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W5 Celebrates Incredible Women in STEM

It's International Women's Day today! A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The theme of 2022 International Women's Day is “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.

The campaign theme of #BreakTheBias is a call-to-action to imagine a gender equal world.

To celebrate this day, we wanted to take a look at some inspiring and pioneering women who changed the world through science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Sarah Gilbert & Catherine Green

Research behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was led by Sarah Gilbert, alongside a team including Teresa Lambe, who helped design the vaccine’s genetic code, and Catherine Green who helped manufacture the first batches of vaccine used in trials.

Image Source: Lewis Khan, New Scientist.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland. Born in Lurgan, Jocelyn made one of the greatest astronomical discoveries of the 20th century. In 1967, Jocelyn discovered the first radio pulsars.

Pulsars are rotating neutron stars that appear in ‘pulse’, since the beam of light they emit can only be seen when it faces Earth. Jocelyn's discovery provided a new way to probe space and theory and consequently transformed astrophysics.

Image Source: University of Dundee, New Scientist.

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson was a NASA mathematician whose calculations helped the US get an astronaut into orbit for the first time. She also played a crucial role in calculations for the first moon landing.

Image Source: Carlos Barría/Reuters, The Guardian.

Mae Jemison

US astronaut, doctor and engineer Mae Jemison became the first Black woman to go into space in 1992. She was one of seven crew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-47 mission.

Image Source: Alamy Stock Photo, New Scientist.

Dorothy Hodgkin

Dorothy Hodgkin was a British chemist who won the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1964 for her pioneering work in protein crystallography, revealing how life functions at a fundamental level.

Image Source: Corbin O'Grady Studio/Science Source, Nobel Prize.

Alice Ball

African-American chemist Alice Ball is famous for developing the Ball Method, a technique that used chaulmoogra oil to treat leprosy until the 1940s. Ball was not credited for the discovery in her lifetime.

Image Source: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy, New Scientist.

Find out more about International Women's Day here