Marie Curie (1867-1934) was a French/Polish chemist and physicist; she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, which she won twice in two different sciences. She studied radioactivity extensively and discovered the elements polonium and radium.
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is known as the pioneer of modern nursing. She trained nurses and treated wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, and later founded a nursing school in London. She was also a writer and social activist, advocating for (among other things) women’s rights and healthcare improvement.
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) was the first female medical doctor in the U.S., and the only medical school that accepted her did so because the male students there voted to let her in. She went on to give lectures advocating for female education, founded a hospital with her sister, and aided in organizing nurses during The Civil War.
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) was the first professional American female astronomer. She discovered a comet in 1847, which she later received a gold medal for. After learning that she was paid significantly less than her male colleagues while working as a professor at Vassar, she demanded a salary increase and her superiors gave it to her.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), daughter of Lord and Lady Byron, was a British writer and computer programmer. She created the first algorithm to be carried out by Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a proposed mechanical computer. She is recognized as the first to realize the full potential of computers.
Euphemia Haynes (1890-1980) was the first African-American woman to earn a PhD in math. She spent 47 years teaching in D.C. public schools and became the first female chair of the D.C. Board of Education. She was also granted the Papal decoration of honor by Pope John XXIII.