List of female scientists before the 20th century

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This is a historical list, intended to deal with the time period where it is believed that women working in science were rare. For this reason, this list ends with the 20th century.


Marble herm in the Vatican Museums inscribed with Aspasia's name at the base. Discovered in 1777, this marble herm is a Roman copy of a 5th-century BC original and may represent Aspasia's funerary stele.
Hypatia by Julia Cameron

Middle Ages[edit]

Herrad of Landsbert
  • Abella (14th century), Italian physician[7]
  • Adelle of the Saracens (12th-century), Italian physician
  • Adelmota of Carrara (14th-century), Italian physician
  • Rufaida Al-Aslamia (7th-century), Muslim nurse
  • Maesta Antonia (1386-1408), Florentine physician[7]
  • Ameline la Miresse (fl. 1313-1325), French physician[7]
  • Jeanne d'Ausshure (d. 1366), French surgeon[7]
  • Zulema L'Astròloga (1190-after 1229), Moorish astronomer
  • Brunetta de Siena (fl. 15th-century), Italian-Jewish physician[7]
  • Hildegard of Bingen (1099–1179), German natural philosopher[1]:126
  • Sibyl of Benevento, Napolitan physician specializing in the plague buboes[7]
  • Denice (fl. 1292), French barber-surgeon[7]
  • Demud (fl. ca. 13th century), German physician[8]
  • Dobrodeia of Kiev (fl. 1122), Byzantine physician
  • Dorotea Bucca (fl. 1390), Italian professor of medicine[7]
  • Constance Calenda (15th century), Italian surgeon specializing in diseases of the eye[9][10]
  • Virdimura of Catania (fl. 1276), Jewish-Sicilian physician[7]
  • Caterina of Florence (fl. 1400s), Florentine physician[7]
  • Jeanne de Cusey (fl. 1438), French barber-surgeon[7]
  • Antonia Daniello (fl. 1400), Florentine-Jewish physician[7]
  • Clarice di Durisio (15th century), Italian physician
  • Fava of Manosque (fl. 1322), French-Jewish physician[7]
  • Fatima al-Fihri (9th century), born in Tunesia, founder of world's first university in Fez (Morocco)
  • Jacobina Félicie (fl. 1322), Italian physician
  • Francesca, muller de Berenguer Satorra (15th-century), Catalan physician [11]
  • Maria Gallicia (fl. 1309), licensed surgeon[7]
  • Bellayne Gallipapa (fl. 1380), Zaragoza, Spanish-Jewish physician[7]
  • Dolcich Gallipapa (fl. 1384), Leyda, Spanish-Jewish physician[7]
  • Na Pla Gallipapa (fl. 1387), Zaragoza, Spanish-Jewish physician[7]
  • Sarah de St Giles (fl. 1326), French-Jewish physician and medical teacher[7]
  • Alessandra Giliani (fl. 1318), Italian anatomist
  • Rebecca de Guarna (fl. 1200), Italian physician[9][10]
  • Magistra Hersend (fl. 1249–1259), French surgeon
  • Maria Incarnata, Italian surgeon[10]
  • Isabiau la Mergesse (fl. 1292), French-Jewish physician[7]
  • Floreta La-Noga (fl. 1374), Aragonese physician[7]
  • Helvidis (fl. 1176), French physician[7]
  • Stephanie de Lyon (fl. 1265), French physician[7]
  • Guillemette du Luys (fl. 1479), French royal surgeon[7]
  • Thomasia de Mattio, Italian physician[10]
  • Margherita di Napoli (late 14th century), Napolitan oculist active in Frankfurt-am-Main[7]
  • Mercuriade (14th century), Italian physician and surgeon[9]
  • Gilette de Narbonne (fl. 1300), French physician[7]
  • Isabella da Ocre, Napolitan surgeon[7]
  • Francisca da Romana, Napolitan physician[7]
  • Dame Péronelle (1292–1319), French herbalist
  • Peretta Peronne, also called Perretta Petone (fl. 1411), French surgeon[7]
  • Lauretta Ponte da Saracena Calabria, Napolitan physician
  • Trota of Salerno (fl. 1090), Italian physician[7]
  • Marguerite Saluzzi (fl. 1460), Napolitan licensed herbalist physician[7]
  • Sara de Sancto Aegidio (fl. 1326), French physician
  • Juana Sarrovia (fl. 1384), Barcelona, Spanish physician[7]
  • Raymunda da Taberna, licensed Napolitan surgeon[7]
  • Théophanie (fl. 1291), French barber surgeon[7]
  • Trotta da Toya (f. 1307), Napolitan physician[7]
  • Polisena da Troya (fl. 1335), licensed Napolitan surgeon[7]
  • Margarita da Venosa (fl. 1333), licensed Napolitan surgeon[7]
  • Francisca di Vestis (fl. 1308), Napolian physician[7]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

Margaret Cavendish

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]




Biology or natural history[edit]

Mary Anning






Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (Ada Lovelace)



Nuclear physics[edit]

  • Lise Meitner (1878–1968), Austrian, Swedish, nuclear physicist



Science education[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Yount 2007
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Ogilvie, Marilyn; Harvey, Joy (2003-12-16). The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: Pioneering Lives From Ancient Times to the Mid-20th Century. Routledge. ISBN 9781135963439.
  3. ^ a b Ogilvie 1986
  4. ^ Brown, James Campbell (1920). A History of Chemistry from the Earliest Times. P. Blakiston's Son & Company. pp. 19–24.
  5. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural History 28.81-84. Irby-Massie, 'Women in Ancient Science', in Woman's power, man's game: essays on classical antiquity in honor of Joy K. King, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1993. p.366
  6. ^ Gabriele Kass-Simon, Patricia Farnes, Deborah Nash, eds. (1999). Women of science : righting the record (First Midland Book ed.). Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana Univ. Press. p. 301. ISBN 9780253208132.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak L. Whaley: Women and the Practice of Medical Care in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1800
  8. ^ Ogilvie, Marilyn; Harvey, Joy (2000). The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science. New York: Routledge. p. 346. ISBN 0415920388.
  9. ^ a b c Walsh 1911
  10. ^ a b c d Howard 2006
  11. ^ «Diccionari Biogràfic de Dones: Francesca, muller de Berenguer Satorra»
  12. ^ Hoe, Susanna (2016). "Valletta". Malta: Women, History, Books and Places (PDF). Oxford: Women's History Press (a division of Holo Books). pp. 368–369. ISBN 9780957215351. OCLC 931704918. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Sarah Whiting". CWP.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Rayner-Canham & Rayner-Canham 2001
  15. ^ Rayner-Canham, Marelene; Rayner-Canham, Geoff (23 Feb 2009). "Fight for Rights" (PDF). Chemistry World. 6 (3): 56–59.


External links[edit]