Biographies & Memoirs

Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History

Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History

You may think you know women’s history pretty well, but have you ever heard of...

· Alice Ball, the chemist who developed an effective treatment for leprosy—only to have the credit taken by a man?

· Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liquid fuel compounds blasted the first U.S. satellite into orbit?

· Huang Daopo, the inventor whose weaving technology revolutionized textile production in China—centuries before the cotton gin?

Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them.

Introduction: We Can Do It!

Chapter One: WOMEN OF SCIENCE

Wang Zhenyi. Chinese Astronomer, Mathematician, and Poet (1768–1797)

Ada Lovelace. British Mathematician and Programmer (1815–1852)

Lise Meitner. Austrian Nuclear Physicist (1878–1968)

Emmy Noether. German Mathematician and Physicist (1882–1935)

Alice Ball. American Chemist and Medical Researcher (1892–1916)

Chemists, Scholars, and Stargazing Philosophers: Other Amazing Women of Science

Q&A with Lynn Conway, Computer Scientist, Electrical Engineer, and Science Educator

Chapter Two: WOMEN OF MEDICINE

Jacqueline Felice de Almania. Italian Physician (active ca. 1322)

Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell. American Doctors and Hospital Founders (1821–1910 and 1826–1910)

Ogino Ginko. Japanese Doctor, Hospital Founder, and Writer (1851–1913)

Anandibai Joshi. Indian Doctor (1865–1887)

Marie Equi. American Doctor and Birth-Control Advocate (1872–1952)

Healers, Midwives, and Doctors: Other Amazing Women of Medicine

Q&A with Dr. Buddhini Samarasinghe, Molecular Biologist, Cancer Researcher, and Founder of STEM Women

Chapter Three: WOMEN OF ESPIONAGE

Brita Tott. Danish and Swedish Spy and Forger (active 1442–98)

Mary Bowser. American Spy (born ca. 1841)

Sarah Emma Edmonds. Canadian Soldier and Spy (1841–1898)

Elvira Chaudoir. Peruvian Heiress and Spy (1913–1995)

Noor Inayat Khan. Indian American Author and Allied Spy (1914–1944)

Smugglers, Secret Agents, and Ninjas: Other Amazing Women of Espionage

Q&A with Lindsay Moran, Author, Journalist, and Former CIA Operative

Chapter Four: WOMEN OF INNOVATION

Huang Daopo. Chinese Textile Pioneer (ca. 1240–1330)

Margaret Knight. American Inventor (1838–1914)

Miriam Benjamin. American Inventor and Advocate (1861–1947)

Bessie Blount Griffin. American Nurse and Inventor (1914–2009)

Mary Sherman Morgan. American Rocket Scientist (1921–2004)

Perfumers, Programmers, and Board Gamers: Other Amazing Women of Innovation

Q&A with Erica Baker, Senior Engineer, Tech Educator, and Diversity Advocate

Chapter Five: WOMEN OF ADVENTURE

Maria Sibylla Merian. German Scientist, Painter, and Explorer (1647–1717)

Annie Smith Peck. American Mountaineer and Suffragist (1850–1935)

Ynes Mexia. Mexican American Botanist and Explorer (1870–1938)

Annie Londonderry. American Cyclist and Journalist (1870–1947)

Bessie Coleman. American Aviatrix (1892–1926)

Trailblazers, Translators, and Globetrotting Journalists: Other Amazing Women of Adventure

Q&A with Mika McKinnon, Field Geophysicist, Disaster Researcher, and Science Writer

Appendix