From Grace Hopper to Shirley Jackson: Women in Science Quiz



By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

If you're surprised to see that there were and are extremely successful and groundbreaking female pioneers in scientific fields, you better take this quiz before you embarrass yourself. Brush up on these enterprising and ambitious women in science.

Agnodice is a (possibly mythical) figure who is said to be the first female to what?

Agnodice supposedly was granted the right to be a doctor in the 4th century B.C.E.


Mary Anning has been largely forgotten to history, but she made great contributions to what field of science?

Anning lived in early 19th century Britain, where she discovered and shrewdly studied important fossil finds in the area.


Admiral Grace Hopper was a Navy officer who was also a pioneering what?

Hopper invented the compiler, which translates code.


Roger Arliner Young was the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in zoology. What year was she born?

The pioneering scientist and scholar was born in 1889.


Lise Meitner worked to discover nuclear fission, but her role was overlooked when her collaborators received what prize?

While her partners were named as recipients of the 1944 Nobel Prize, Meitner was excluded despite her unarguable contributions to the findings.


Ada Lovelace was a 19th century British aristocrat who is credited for describing what?

The Countess of Lovelace (and Lord Byron's daughter) also worked on developing computational devices.


Rozsa Peter was a Hungarian mathematician and leading contributor to the special theory of …

Recursive theory is something you no doubt know by heart.


May Edward Chinn was one of the first female African-American doctors in the nation and also became a researcher and advocate for what?

Dr. Chinn was the first female African-American graduate of Bellevue Medical School and a researcher for Pap tests.


Lillian Gilbreth did pioneering work in industrial psychology and efficiency, along with engineering and management. Her family was also the model for what book?

Gilbreth was a mother of 12. Two of Gilbreth's children wrote the biographical book "Cheaper by the Dozen."


James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins received a Nobel Prize for their work, but some argue that Rosalind Franklin, a fellow scientist, deserved just as much credit for her role in …

Franklin was also working to understand DNA.


Emmy Noether helped develop a theorem that ties symmetry in nature to a corresponding conservation. But she also faced what challenge?

Noether's theorem helped define huge theoretical physics ideas, but she was forced to flee Germany and died shortly after.


Maria Goeppert-Mayer won a Nobel Prize for nuclear shell structure research in 1963. What was her first field of study before nuclear physics?

Goeppert-Mayer entered the nuclear physics field in her 40s. Before that she studied chemical physics.


Helen Sawyer Hogg brought what field to a broader audience?

Hogg worked as an astronomer her whole life, but she used television, newspaper and books to bring the stars to the general public.


Annie Jump Cannon worked with several other women to develop a star spectra classification. She was also the first woman to …

Cannon's early 20th-century work included finding over 300 variable stars and five novae.


Rosa Smith Eigenmann was the first woman allowed to take graduate classes at Harvard. What subject did she study?

Eigenmann and her husband discovered and studied more than 100 species of fish.


Women were not allowed to attend France's Ecole Polytechnique in the late 18th century, but mathematician Sophie Germain got around that by …

Germain borrowed notes from students. She developed the basis of theories about vibrations on elastic surfaces as an amateur and was passionate about mathematics her entire life.


Margaret Gray Blanton was a speech language pathologist who created a battery of speech, literacy and articulation tests. She also had what passion?

She wrote novels, short stories, plays and a biography.


Gertrude Elion received what for her work pharmacology?

She received a Nobel Prize. She was an unpaid lab assistant when she began her career.


When was the first woman appointed to the faculty of Harvard?

Alice Hamilton was an doctor of medicine who was appointed to the Harvard Medical School faculty.


Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin discovered that stars are made mainly of what?

She discovered that stars are mostly made of hydrogen and helium. She was also appointed the chairperson of the astronomy department at Harvard.


Ida Hyde was a pioneering researcher in physiology, but she also devoted herself to …

She started a group that raised money for women's research studies.


Who was the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from MIT?

The physicist is also the chairperson of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board.


Danish geologist Inge Lehmann discovered the inner core of Earth using seismic waves in what year?

Lehmann was the first to posit that Earth had an inner core in 1936.


Barbara McClintock's work studying genetic elements was first dismissed, but it eventually earned her the first Nobel Prize in medicine for a woman in what year?

McClintock's research that found genetic elements could move along a chromosome was pretty much ignored at first. She got the Nobel Prize in 1983.


Jane Goodall is famous for her work with …

She's won the UNESCO Gold Medal for her research on chimps.


Anthropologist Margaret Mead was introduced to a broad audience with her first book, titled what?

Mead wrote 23 books, all of which relied on observation. The first was "Coming of Age in Samoa."


Maria Mitchell discovered what when she was 29 years old?

The first professional female astronomer in the U.S. discovered a comet. She also joined the faculty of Vassar when it was first formed.


Jewel Plummer Cobb studied skin cancer and cell division. But she also held what prestigious post?

Cobb was the president of California State University. Her work led to a better understanding of the causes of cell division.


Born in China, Chien-Shiung Wu worked on what important American project?

Wu worked on the atomic bomb. She helped develop a way to enrich uranium ore in large amounts.


Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She has two Nobels; which fields are they in?

Her 1903 prize was in physics and radiation; the 1911 prize was in chemistry for the discovery of radium and polonium.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!