HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
From Grace Hopper to Shirley Jackson: Women in Science Quiz
by Staff
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?

  • study and practice medicine in Greece
  • conduct a research study
  • test on rodents

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

  • bird watching
  • paleontology
  • botany

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

  • nuclear physicist
  • software engineer
  • marine biologist

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

  • 1938
  • 1942
  • 1889

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

  • the Medal of Honor
  • Nobel Prize in chemistry
  • Fields Medal

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

  • evolution
  • nuclear reactions
  • the first computer program

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

  • relativity
  • recursive functions
  • quantum mass

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

  • Pap smears
  • blood donation
  • birth control

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

  • "The Cat in the Hat"
  • "Little House on the Prairie"
  • "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 …

  • understanding cell structure
  • splitting the atom
  • identifying the structure of DNA

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

  • She was one of the first Jewish scientists fired in Weimar Republic.
  • She wasn't allowed to wear skirts.
  • She had to pretend to be married.

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

  • astronomy
  • chemical physics
  • quantum mathematics

Helen Sawyer Hogg brought what field to a broader audience?

  • quantum mechanics
  • astronomy
  • civil engineering

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

  • get a faculty position at Harvard
  • receive an honorary doctorate from Oxford
  • graduate from Princeton

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

  • mathematics
  • physics
  • ichthyology

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

  • befriending male students and persuading them to let her borrow their lecture notes
  • dressing up as a man
  • kidnapping a professor for lessons

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

  • square dancing
  • fiction and nonfiction writing
  • car repair

Gertrude Elion received what for her work pharmacology?

  • the first Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctorate for a female
  • the first female faculty position at Harvard
  • the Nobel Prize

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

  • 1919
  • 1930
  • 1935

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

  • nitrogen and carbon dioxide
  • hydrogen and helium
  • hydrogen and nitrogen

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

  • advancing the careers of other women in science
  • gardening
  • subatomic particles

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

  • Jewel Plummer Cobb
  • Mae Jemison
  • Shirley Jackson

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

  • 1936
  • 1970
  • 1947

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?

  • 1992
  • 1983
  • 1943

Jane Goodall is famous for her work with …

  • chimps
  • gorillas
  • orangutan

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

  • "Boys and Girls"
  • "Coming of Age in Samoa"
  • "Marriage and Status"

Maria Mitchell discovered what when she was 29 years old?

  • a stegosaurus bone
  • a new vitamin
  • a comet

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

  • chair of the biology department of New York University
  • president of California State University, Fullerton
  • NASA administrator

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

  • the Human Genome Project
  • the atomic bomb
  • the Apollo space missions

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

  • chemistry and physics
  • chemistry and medicine
  • medicine and physics