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Quiz: Fabulous Female Scientists
by Staff
Disproving the misguided stereotype that boys are naturally better at math and science than girls, women earn around half the science-related degrees in higher education. Since Hypatia, the ancient Egyptian mathematician, women have made groundbreaking contributions in math and science and are only now receiving proper recognition. Are you ready to test your knowledge of these brainy ladies?

French math genius Emilie du Châtelet was mistress to which famous Enlightenment thinker?

  • Voltaire
  • Rousseau
  • Montesquieu

Egyptian mathematician Hypatia was killed by whom?

  • her father and fellow mathematician, Theon of Alexandria
  • a Christian mob
  • her married lover

Around 50 percent of U.S. science and engineering graduate students are women. What percentage of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs do they claim in the United States?

  • 16 percent
  • 24 percent
  • 47 percent

Chemist Rosalind Franklin's photographs of what helped earn a Nobel Prize for James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins?

  • DNA
  • X chromosomes
  • neurons

Austrian physicist Lise Meitner and her research assistant discovered what atomic reaction?

  • nuclear fission
  • nuclear fusion
  • radioactivity

Lise Meitner won a Nobel Prize for what?

  • discovering the Auger effect
  • discovering nuclear fusion
  • Meitner never received a Nobel Prize.

Shirley Jackson, described by Time magazine as “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science," pursued what science field?

  • particle physics
  • nuclear physics
  • theoretical physics

President Clinton appointed Shirley Jackson the first female head of what?

  • National Institutes of Health
  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • NASA

Rita Levi-Montalcini, the oldest living Nobel laureate, received her Nobel Prize for studying what body part?

  • the brain
  • the heart
  • the lungs

How old was Rita Levi-Montalcini when she received her Nobel?

  • 67 years old
  • 77 years old
  • 87 years old

Who won the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics for her work with radioactive materials?

  • Marie Curie
  • Ada Byron
  • Dorothy Hodgkin

The daughter of which famous poet devised what is considered the first ever computer program?

  • T.S. Eliot
  • Lord Byron
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson

What primatologist has been described as "the woman who redefined man"?

  • Rachel Carson
  • Jane Goodall
  • Dian Fossey

Out of the 102 Nobel Prizes in chemistry doled out between 1901 and 2010, how many went to women?

  • four
  • eight
  • 16

Marie Curie and Maria Goeppert Mayer are the only women to win a Nobel in what?

  • physics
  • physiology
  • medicine

British astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell initially mistook her discovery of radio signals in outer space for what?

  • aliens
  • Russian spacecraft
  • a black hole

In 2009, Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol Greider were awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for discovering telomeres, which protect what from damage?

  • neurons
  • nerve cells
  • chromosomes

Which of the following women hasn't received a Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking research?

  • Jane Goodall
  • Rosalyn Yalow
  • Gertrude B. Elion

Who was the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT?

  • Dolores Shockley
  • Shirley Jackson
  • Mae Jemison

Which branch of science attracts the lowest number of female college majors?

  • computer science
  • engineering
  • math