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31/10/2014

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Vote for women!

There was no shortage of names when we asked people to nominate female scientists and engineers, women whose contributions to science, engineering and technology had for too long gone unnoticed.

Thank you to all who took part on Twitter and Facebook - we ended up with a list of over 30 names!

This has now been whittled down to just six, and we are asking you now to vote for your favourite to be recognised.

This has now been whittled down to just six, and we are asking you now to vote for your favourite to be recognised by the British Science Association by having an Award Lecture named after them.

If you haven't already done so please read the blog explaining why we think this is a great thing to do.

The finalists are:  

Rosalind Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958)

A British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite. Her DNA work achieved the most fame because DNA plays an essential role in cell metabolism and genetics, and the discovery of its structure helped her co-workers understand how genetic information is passed from parents to their offspring.

Dorothy Hodgkin (12 May 1910 – 29 July 1994)

A British chemist, credited with the development of protein crystallography. She advanced the technique of X-ray crystallography, a method used to determine the three-dimensional structures of biomolecules. Among her most influential discoveries are the confirmation of the structure of penicillin that Ernst Boris Chain and Edward Abraham had previously surmised, and then the structure of vitamin B12, for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978)

An American cultural anthropologist, who was frequently a featured author and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s. She earned her bachelor degree at Barnard College in New York City, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. She was both a populariser of the insights of anthropology into modern American and Western culture and a respected, sometimes controversial, academic anthropologist. Her reports about the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures amply informed the 1960s sexual revolution. Mead was a champion of broadened sexual mores within a context of traditional western religious life.

Emmy Noether (23 March 1882 – 14 April 1935),

An influential German mathematician known for her ground-breaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics, Noether was often described as the most important woman in the history of mathematics. She revolutionized the theories of rings, fields, and algebras. In physics, Noether's theorem explains the fundamental connection between symmetry and conservation laws.

Ellen Swallow Richards (December 3, 1842 – March 30, 1911)

The foremost female industrial and environmental chemist in the United States during the 19th century. Her pioneering work in sanitary engineering and experimental research in domestic science widened professional opportunities for women in the sciences and laid a foundation for the new science of home economics. She was the first woman in America accepted to any school of science and technology, and the first American woman to earn a degree in chemistry, which she earned from Vassar College in 1870. Richards was a pragmatic feminist, as well as a founding eco-feminist who believed that women's work within the home was a vital aspect of the economy.

Chien-Shiung Wu (May 31, 1912 – February 16, 1997)

A Chinese American physicist with expertise in the techniques of experimental physics and radioactivity, Wu worked on the Manhattan Project, helping to develop the process for separating uranium metal into the U-235 and U-238 isotopes by gaseous diffusion. Wu later performed the Wu Experiment, which contradicted the "Law of Conservation of Parity" and which confirmed the theories of her colleagues. Her honorary nicknames include the "First Lady of Physics", the "Chinese Marie Curie", and "Madame Wu".

Share your thoughts on Twitter by tweeting to both the hashtag #IWD2014 and us @BritishSciFest. Or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Cast your vote in the poll below...remember to vote by 1st April!