ACS Celebrates the Achievements of Women Scientists in American History
Women’s History Month honors the contributions of women to American culture and society. ACS has selected a few of many distinguished women scientists (some still unknown) in history whose dedication and determination in the midst of gender discrimination led to some of the most important discoveries that have transformed our lives.
Rachel Holloway Lloyd
The first American woman to earn a chemistry Ph.D., Lloyd introduced a beet sweetening agent as a sugar substitute.
Ellen Swallow Richards
Pioneer of sanitary engineering, Richards contributed to our understanding of environmental systems.
A pioneer in the toxicology field, Hamilton studied the effects of harmful substances on the human body.
Gerty Theresa Cori
The first American woman to win the Nobel Prize, Cori’s landmark research gave us an understanding of sugar metabolism.
Cohn revolutionized NMR techniques, now widely used to study metabolic processes at the molecular level.
A Nobel laureate, Elion’s “rational drug design” led to effective treatments for leukemia and many other illnesses.
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
The second woman Nobelist in medicine, her groundbreaking technique can measure hundreds of substances in the body.
Helen M. Free
Creator of revolutionary diagnostic test strips, Free made possible self-management of disease.
Inventor of industrial-strength fibers that today protect and save thousands of lives.
Co-discoverer of elements 118 and 116, her research on super-heavy elements led to important findings about fission
Kathryn Hach Darrow
Pilot, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Co-founded the Hach Chemical Company in 1947.
Alma Levant Hayden
Led a team that exposed the common substance in Krebiozen, a controversial alternative drug promoted as anti-cancer.
Angie Turner King
American chemist, mathematician, and educator was one of the first African American women to gain degrees in chemistry and math.