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Top 5 Female Scientists Who Made A Difference In The World

Whoever said that science is a man’s world? These amazing black women will show you how a woman of color can change the lives of many.

  • Alice Ball – At the young age of 23, she created the first effective method to treat leprosy. Prior to Ball’s discovery, people have been treating leprosy with Chaulmoogra oil. However, the composition was too thick for it to circulate through the body and thus lacked the efficiency to treat the disease correctly.

Ball, being a science and chemist prodigy, finally found a way to transform and modify the treatment. Her discovery prevented many people from spreading the disease during the 1900’s.

  • Mae Jemison – She is an engineer, physician, and an astronaut. Jemison became the first black woman to orbit into space. This multifaceted genius took one trip to space and eventually resigned from NASA.

Jemison felt she needed to give back to the people so she started teaching at Dartmouth, organized science camps, and formed organizations including her own, Jemison Foundation, to promote literacy in education and science.  

  • Jane Wright – Her work as an oncologist paved way for her to contribute significantly in the development of cancer treatment. Her methods are built for safer treatments and she created less invasive methods of administering chemotherapy to patients.

She was able to study and test her theories on isolated cells instead of using live human and animals. This was all done during the time where chemotherapy was still in its experimental stage.


  • Bessie Blount Griffen – As a physical therapist and a forensic scientist, this intelligent woman was able to create a device to help patients who had lost their limbs to feed themselves. She developed this idea during the war while she was working and treating the wounded soldiers.


She built a feeding tube which allowed amputated patients to become more independent. However, the American Veterans Administration did not accept the patent. Griffen sold her idea to France instead.

Aside from this, she also discovered other ways to detect forged documents. Griffen is truly a genius on both fields of physical therapy and forensic science.


  • Betty Harris – She is a chemist who submitted a patent for a test identifying explosives. Being an expert in explosives, she developed a test that can identify traces of explosive chemicals. She also worked with the Girl Scouts to create a chemistry badge.

Written by How Africa

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