Meet Elif Bilgin, winner of the Scientific American Science in Action Award and winner of the Voter’s Choice Award for the Google Science Fair 2013.
Wanting to reduce pollution in her home city of Istanbul, Elif manufactured a new environmentally-friendly bio-plastic that uses banana peels - an organic material - instead of traditional petroleum sources.
She is the first black woman to earn a PhD in astronomy from Yale University.
As much as she loves astrophysics, Isler is very aware of the barriers that still remain for young women of color going into science. “It’s unfortunately an as-yet-unresolved part of the experience,” she says. She works to lower those barriers, and also to improve the atmosphere for women of color once they become scientists, noting that “they often face unique barriers as a result of their position at the intersection of race and gender, not to mention class, socioeconomic status and potentially a number of other identities.”
While Isler recounts instances of overt racial and gender discrimination that are jaw-dropping, she says more subtle things happen more often. Isler works with the American Astronomical Society’s commission on the status of minorities in astronomy.
She also believes that while things will improve as more women of color enter the sciences, institutions must lead the way toward creating positive environments for diverse student populations. That is why she is active in directly engaging young women of color: for example participating in a career exploration panel on behalf of the Women’s Commission out of the City of Syracuse Mayor’s Office, meeting with high-achieving middle-school girls. She is also on the board of trustees at the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST).
“Whether I like it or not, I’m one of only a few women of color in this position,” she says. “Addressing these larger issues of access to education and career exploration are just as important as the astrophysical work that I do.”
Tomoe Gozen was a female samurai during the Genpei War of 1180–1185 CE. Though female warriors were not uncommon in Japan at the time, Tomoe is one of very few female samurai, highly trained and skilled in horseback riding, archery, sword fighting and she was also greatly skilled in the use of the naginata, which is a long staff with a curved blade at one end. Tomoe Gozen beheaded many enemies with naginata, because she didn’t believe in staying behind in battles, she was always at the fore front of any battle line. She was a senior captain under general Minamoto no Yoshinaka, and either his attendant or consort as well, depending on the source. Her surname is not known, as Gozen is simply a title, somewhat like “Lady.”
The earliest written source regarding Tomoe Gozen is from the 14th century Japanese classic, The Tale of the Heike, which in turn is derived from oral tradition. This source describes her as almost supernaturally strong, very beautiful, and surpassing her male colleagues in skill and bravery.
The Heike Monogatari goes on to say that Tomoe was one of the last five of Yoshinaka’s warriors standing at the tail end of the Battle of Awazu, and that Yoshinaka, knowing that death was near, urged her to flee. Though reluctant, she rushed a Minamoto warrior named Onda no Hachirô Moroshige, cut his head off, and then fled for the eastern provinces.
Some have written that Tomoe in fact died in battle with her husband, while others assert that she survived and became a nun.
She is among the most popular and widely known female figures in Japanese history/legend, and appears as the lead in at least one kabuki play, Onna Shibaraku
Jane Goodall - studied chimpanzees and has created community-centered conservation programs that not only protect chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, but also take into account the needs of the people crucial to their protection
Hayat Sindi - created low-tech diagnostic tools to aid in the improvement of healthcare in the world’s poorest communities, has a Cambridge University Ph.D. in biotechnology
Kakenya Ntaiya - teacher building the first school for girls in her rural Kenyan village, refuses to accept Maasai woman’s traditionally subservient role, hopes that expanding education and leadership opportunities for girls will also improve life for the entire village
Nalini Nadkarni - uses mountain climbing gear to climb into the rainforest canopies of Costa Rica and researches the threats of global warming
Sarah McNair-Landry - youngest person to ski to the South Pole, sledged to the North Pole, and crossed ~1,400 miles of the Greenland ice cap to draw attention to the dangers of global warming
Dian Fossey - studied endangered gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda, her devotion to their care and protection cost her her life and she was probably murdered by poachers who she fought relentlessly.
I hope that one day I can be added to this list of incredible and inspiring women.
Photographs by Hugo Van Lawick, Kris Krug, Philip Scott Andrews, Michael and Patricia Fogden, John Stetson, Robert I. M. Campbell
Kumi Yamashita , whose mind-blowing shadow artworks have been featured before, uses a single, unbroken thread wrapped around thousands of nails to create stunning portraits of women and men.
In the ongoing series entitled Constellation (a nod to the Greek tradition of tracing mythical figures in the sky), the Japanese artist (living and working in New York) uses three simple materials to produce these otherworldly works of art.
"When someone enrols in the medicine school that one of the longest schooling required profession, by the time they finish school they will be around 30-or at least on their late 20s. But not for this girl; Eqbal Asa’d is a Palestinian Muslim woman that started the Medicine school when she was just 14 years old, ‘myhijab.info’ reports. Asa’d got her Bachelor degree in Medicine with Honors and was set by the Guinness World Records as the youngest doctor in the World, according to the report. She has been signed to go to Ohio, U.S to continue her education even further and become a Pediatrician." - Source
YOU GUYS SHE IS THE YOUNGEST DOCTOR IN THE WORLD. SHE IS A FEMALE, A MUSLIM AND A MINORITY. AND SHE IS THE YOUNGEST DOCTOR IN THE WORLD.
An African Princess Who Stood Unafraid Among Nazis
Her autobiography is a one-of-a-kind perspective of an educated, empowered, world-traveling daughter of a royal family, which no one wanted to publish until now.
By Jenee Desmond-Harris
Between 1939 and 1946, Fatima Massaquoi penned one of the earliest known autobiographies by an African woman. But few outside of Liberian circles were aware of it until this week, when Palgrave McMillian published The Autobiography of an African Princess, edited by two historians and the author’s daughter.
The book follows Massaquoi, born the daughter of the King of Gallinas of Southern Sierra Leone in 1904, to Liberia, Nazi Germany and the segregated American South, where she wrote her memoirs while enrolled at Tennessee’s Fisk University.