Yours free! Updates Plus Bonus Report on

"7 Tricks Successful People Use to Overcome their Fear of Failure"

Introducing 10 famous female scientists – the finally final four!

Did I really forget my last four famous female scientists?

I thought I had introduced them to you already.

But I am afraid with my sudden ICU and hospital journey I must have missed and twisted something!

But finally, here they are!

My last but – of course – not least four precious ladies.


Having started with my post of ‘10 quotes by famous female scientists’ I then introduced first Marie Curie, Lise Meitner and Gertrude Elion in the post ‘Introducing 10 famous female scientists: the first three!’ The series continued by introducing Mary Anning Jane Goodall and Rosalind Franklin in ‘Introducing 10 famous female scientists: Mary, Jane and Rosalind’.


Today I want to introduce:


Dian Fossey (1932 – 1985)

Dian Fossey was an American zoologist who undertook an extensive study of Mountain-Gorilla groups over a period of 18 years. It was her achievement that these Gorillas are now well understood, appreciated and protected. Fossey studied them daily in the mountain forests of Rwanda. In her book ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ she combines her scientific study of the Mountain-Gorilla at the Karisoke Research Center with her own personal story. Fossey was found mysteriously murdered in 1985; the case remains open.

Like mentioned in my previous post, Dian Fossey was one of Leakey’s Angels (also nicknamed ‘The Trimates’). Dr. Louis S. B. Leakey, a famous anthropologist and paleontologist from Cambridge University, UK, personally decided on three female researchers to study primates in Africa. It was Jane Goodall who studied chimpanzees, Dian Fossey who studied gorillas and Birutė Galdikas who studied orangutans.

Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909 – 2012)

Born into an Italian Jewish family Rita Levi-Montalcini lost her assistant position in the department of anatomy of the University of Turin in 1938 due to a law barring Jews from university positions. That’s why during World War two Levi-Montalcini bravely conducted experiments from a home laboratory, studying the growth of nerve fibers in chicken embryos.

Later she joined Washington University in St. Louis where she stayed for 40 year. In 1986 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine alongside with colleague Stanley Cohen for discovering the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). From 2001, at the age of 92, until her death at the age of 103, she served in the Italian Senate as a Senator for life. She had an identical twin sister who interestingly had a huge career in Arts.


Rachel Carson (1907 – 1964)


Rachel Carson was an American marine biologist, conservationist and book author. She worked as an aquatic biologist in the US Bureau of Fisheries and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. In 1951 she wrote the bestseller ‘The Sea around us’ which was awarded with the US National Book Award. Her next book ‘The edge of the sea’ and a reissued version of her first book called ‘Under the sea wind’ were also bestsellers. This amazing sea trilogy explores and explains the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths.

Concerned about synthetic pesticides Carson wrote a book called ‘Silent Spring’ in 1962 which resulted in a nationwide ban if the pesticide DDT and an increased in environmental consciousness among the US people. It also inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency.


Maria Mayer (1906 – 1972)


Maria Mayer was born as Maria Goeppert on June 28, 1906, in Kattowitz, Upper Silesia, now Poland. On her father’s side she was the seventh straight generation of university professors. In 1924 she enrolled at the University of Göttingen in Germany with the intention of becoming a mathematician. But soon she found herself more attracted to physics. This was the time when quantum mechanics was young and exciting.

She later moved to the USA and married Joseph Edward Mayer. In 1962 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for proposing the discovery of the nuclear shell structure of the atomic nucleus. She was the second female Nobel laureate in physics, after Marie Curie.

This is the last part of a series. Please check out the first  parts as well:

10 quotes by famous female scientists

Introducing 10 famous female scientists: the first three!

‘Introducing 10 famous female scientists: Mary, Jane and Rosalind’

Share This!


Hi I'm Ilka, a self-development writer and lovable scientist with a knowledgeable expertise in brain science. I help people realize the power our behavior has on our brain - and the other way around.

Carl D'Agostino - February 26, 2015

I have respect for that Christian “Scientist”, Mary Baker Eddy.
Carl D’Agostino recently posted…Study your “Notes” by Carl D’AgostinoMy Profile

    simplyilka - February 26, 2015

    Thanks Carl!

    Interesting choice. I have actually never read her book but I think I should 🙂

Naveen Kumar - February 27, 2015

Hi Ilka,
Thanks to point out all these great female in front of us. These all are the great inspiring persons for everyone who want to get success and want to improve their creativity.
Have a great day !!
With Regards,
Naveen Kumar
Naveen Kumar recently posted…How To Remove Your Last Name From Your Facebook Account – My Guest PostMy Profile

    simplyilka - March 3, 2015

    Hi Naveen!

    Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the post. As you said these are great people who can inspire everyone who strikes for excellence and creativity.

    Have a great day, Ilka 🙂

Mi Muba - February 28, 2015

Hi Ilka

Your posts have always depth and no any shallow approach that shows your deep involvement into your niche.

I a little read earlier about these four female scientists but here you put the most important about them and now I can say I know main points about them.

For example earlier read about Dian but never knew her extensive research on Gorillas. Yes Rita’s contribution in physiology made her achieve the top award of the world and much famous in the world.

Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful and very informative post.
Mi Muba recently posted…How to avoid cyber bullying and keep blogging successfully?My Profile

    simplyilka - March 3, 2015

    Thank you for your kind words Mi Muba!

    Yes, I am involved in my niche and I am happy to share 🙂

    I am glad you learned something new. Dian Fossey was surely a fascinating women.

    Have a great day and all the best, Ilka

Sherri Matthews - March 3, 2015

Wonderfully interesting post Ilka, as always. I have really enjoyed your series, reading about some women I knew a little about and others I knew nothing about, to my shame. You continue to amaze me with your natural gift of teaching us in a way that is approachable, easy to read but also so fascinating. I remember in particular Gorillas in the Mist, incredible story about Dian Fossey. Very interesting to learn that the case is still open…
And I hope you are feeling better my friend, so sorry to learn of your recent trip to the hospital.
Sherri Matthews recently posted…Flash Fiction: Water RatMy Profile

    simplyilka - March 6, 2015

    Thank you for your kind words Sherri! They mean a lot to me my friend 🙂

    The story of Dian Fossey’s death might stay a big mystery. But the situation in the Gorilla-Mountains truly changed to the best with Nationals being involved in protecting them now.

    All the best to you, Ilka

Ella - March 6, 2015

Thank you Ilka for sharing these four ladies as well. I truly enjoyed learning about all of them.

Than you for showing how these strong women followed their dreams in life – no matter what.

    simplyilka - March 7, 2015

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words Ella! I am glad you liked them all and they could e an inspiration to you 🙂

Marylin Warner - March 6, 2015

Ilka, in 7th grade, I gave a presentation on Dian Fossey, and my best friend gave hers on Rachel Carson. We were so proud to give our talks on “People Who Make a Difference” being WOMEN! Everyone else–besides one, who gave a presentation on Mother Theresa–used men as their examples!
Marylin Warner recently posted…WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE…My Profile

    simplyilka - March 7, 2015

    Hi Marylin!

    Oh, that is just wonderful that you and your friend had chosen two of the famous females from this post. 🙂

    I am sure you were proud of presenting two strong women as ‘people who make a difference’. I am proud of you as well. Well done! And thank you so much for sharing 🙂

ikechi - March 7, 2015

Hi Iika

These famous female scientists are really an inspiration and made a difference in the world. Each of them contributed and made history with their works. Thanks for sharing.

    simplyilka - March 7, 2015

    Hi Ikechi!

    Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you enjoyed the post and you agree that these ladies are an inspiration 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

Comments are closed

%d bloggers like this: