Women in Science

Special Article Collection Celebrates Annual Reviews Contributors

Female scientists have been among Annual Reviews' Authors and Editors since our founding in 1932. In support of the United Nation's International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we have highlighted several pioneering women who have contributed to our 51 journals across the biomedical, life, physical, and social sciences.

The women featured in this collection have had a revolutionary impact on their fields and society. Among them are Gertrude B. Elion who created the first successful drug for Herpes, and Sandra Faber who introduced us to space beyond our imaginations through beautiful images from the Hubble Telescope.

Also revisit our previous Women in Science collection which featured Jennifer A. Doudna's article describing the revolutionary gene editing technique now widely known as CRISPR, along with several other important articles from accomplished women.

Social Sciences

Christina Maslach. Source: Berkeley.edu

Christina Maslach

Christina Maslach pioneered the study of job burnout and has spent more than 40 years advancing our understanding of worker wellbeing. She is the recipient of the 2020 NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing.

Tracey L. Meares (Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Criminology)

Tracey Meares was the first African-American woman to be granted tenure at both Yale Law School and the University of Chicago Law School. Professor Meares' research focuses on understanding how members of a community think about their relationship with legal authorities, such as police, judges, and prosecutors.

Aggressive policing is not very powerful at all. It is expensive, and it frequently backfires. When people trust the institutions they have a right to rely on, it's more democratic, it's more fair. —Tracey Meares

Susan A. Gelman (Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Developmental Psychology)

Dr. Gelman is currently a Heinz Werner Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Linguistics and the Director of the Conceptual Development Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

Sandra R. Waxman (Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Developmental Psychology)

Dr. Waxman is a Louis W. Menk Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University and director of the University's Infant and Child Development Center.

Margaret Conkey

Margaret Conkey is one of the first archaeologists to explore the issues of gender and feminism perspectives in past human societies. Her work led to the discovery of the prehistoric archaeological site Peyre Blanque. She was awarded the Thomas H. Huxley Memorial Medal in December 2017 by the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Patricia Hill Collins. Source: Wikipedia.org

Patricia Hill Collins

Patricia Hill Collins was the 100th President of the American Sociological Association and the first African-American woman to hold this position. Her work primarily concerns issues involving feminism and gender within the African-American community.

Thus, gender ideology not only creates ideas about femininity but it also shapes conceptions of masculinity. —Patricia Hill Collins, Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism.

Esther Duflo. Source: Wikipedia.org

Esther Duflo (founding Editorial Committee member of the Annual Review of Economics)

Esther Duflo, with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, shared the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." Dr. Duflo also wrote Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. This book won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011 and has been translated into more than 17 languages. Additionally, she was awarded the 2010 John Bates Clark medal for her definitive contributions in the field of development economics. The award is given to the top economist under the age of 40 and Esther was the 2nd woman to ever receive the award.

Antoinette Schoar (Editorial Committee Member for the Annual Review of Financial Economics)

Antoinette Schoar is the co-founder of ideas42, a non-profit that uses insights from behavioral economics and psychology to solve social problems. Schoar is a Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Schoar discusses misperceptions about housing and mortgage debt during the 2008 financial crisis in the video below from our recent conference: 2008 Financial Crisis: A Ten-Year Review.

Seema Jayachandran

Seema Jayachandran is a Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Her research focuses on environmental conservation, gender equality, health, and other microeconomic topics in developing countries.

Vesla Weaver (Member of the Annual Reviews Board of Directors)

Vesla Weaver is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and faculty affiliate of the Justice Collaboratory at Yale University. Vesla's research pioneers concepts to understand the role of incarceration and policing in race-class subjugated communities and the development and consequences of coercive institutions in American democracy.

Physical Sciences

Ewine F. van Dishoeck (Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics)

Ewine F. van Dishoeck. Source: Leiden Observatory

"My first encounter with science came in spring 1969...I was enrolled in the public Horace Mann junior high school and chose subjects that I did not (yet) have in Leiden, most notably science, which was taught by an inspiring female African-American teacher - only in hindsight did I realize how special that must have been at the time."
—Ewine van Dishoeck on receiving the Kavli Prize.

Ewine van Dishoeck received the 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics "for her combined contributions to observational, theoretical, and laboratory astrochemistry, elucidating the life cycle of interstellar clouds and the formation of stars and planets."

Sandra Faber (Vice-Chairperson of the Annual Reviews Board of Directors and former Co-Editor of the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics)

Sandra Faber accepting the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama. Source: Wikipedia.org

"I remember spending evenings looking at the sky with my dad, who was interested. He was a civil engineer and was interested in science as a kid. And he always encouraged me."
—Sandra Faber

Sandra Faber has served since 2010 as the Co-Principal Investigator on the most extensive project in Hubble Space Telescope history, a survey of galaxies from the infancy of the universe.

Sara Seager

Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at MIT, where she focuses on theory, computation, and data analysis of exoplanets. Her work has introduced many new ideas to the field, including the first detection of an exoplanet atmosphere.

"Being a scientist is like being an explorer. You have this immense curiosity, this stubborness, this resolute will that you will go forward no matter what other people say."
—Sara Seager

Biomedical/Life Sciences

Judith Campisi

Judith Campisi is an American biochemist and cell biologist. She is a Professor of Biogerontology at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

Modern medicine has enabled us to extend lifespan – often at the expense of healthspan. My lab is focused on disrupting one of the major drivers of aging. Our goal is to enable more healthy years of life. —Judith Campisi

Katherine M. Flegal

Katherine M. Flegal is an American epidemiologist and retired senior scientist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Flegal and her CDC co-authors were among the first to publish data indicating that the percentage of overweight people in the United States had been increasing from the 1980s onwards. In addition, she was a major contributor to the development of the 2000 CDC growth charts, used in the U.S. to assess the growth patterns of infants and children.

Akiko Iwasaki

Akiko Iwasaki is a Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her research focuses on the mechanisms of immune defense against viruses at the mucosal surfaces, and the development of mucosal vaccine strategies.

Shiriki Kumanyika

Shiriki Kumanyika is an Emeritus Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kumanyika's research focuses on identifying effective strategies to reduce nutrition-related chronic disease risks, with a particular focus on achieving health equity for black Americans.

Gertrude B. Elion

Gertrude Elion shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Elion helped develop a range of new drugs, using innovative research methods that later led to the development of the AIDS drug AZT. She also developed aszathioprine, the first immunosuppressive drug used for organ transplants, and acyclovir (ACV), the first successful antiviral drug for the treatment of Herpes.

Jobs were scarce and the few positions that existed in laboratories were not available to women...By chance, I met a chemist who was looking for a laboratory assistant. I stayed there for a year and a half and was finally making the significant sum of $20 a week. —Gertrude Elion, after winning the Nobel Prize in 1988

Susan Lindquist

Susan Lindquist. Source: Lindquist Lab

Susan Lindquist (1949-2016) was a Professor of Biology at MIT. Lindquist was a member and former Director of the Whitehead Institute and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010.

I remember being with my grandmother and mother and my uncle came in and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, 'A doctor', which took him aback...and my mother and grandmother laughed like 'Kids say the darndest things.' I grew up in a time when women were not expected to do anything interesting. —Susan Lindquist, "Fearless About Folding," The Scientist (2016)

Sharon R. Long (Annual Reviews Board of Directors member)

Sharon Long, the Steere-Pfizer Professor of Biological Science at Stanford University, studies the symbiosis between bacteria and plants. Her work has applications for energy conservation and sustainable agriculture. She is a 1992 MacArthur Fellow and became a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1993.

Frances H. Arnold

...as long as we encourage everyone—it doesn't matter the color, gender; everyone who wants to do science, we encourage them to do it—we are going to see Nobel Prizes coming from all these different groups. Women will be very successful. —Frances H. Arnold, The New York Times article

Frances H. Arnold became only the fifth woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2018) for her work with the directed evolution of enzymes. (She shared the prize with George P. Smith and Gregory P. Winter). She is the current Director of Caltech's Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center.

Anna Behrensmeyer. Source: National Museum of Natural History

Anna K. Behrensmeyer

Anna Katherine "Kay" Behrensmeyer is a pioneer in the study of the fossil records of terrestrial ecosystems. She is Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology in the NMNH Department of Paleobiology and Co-Director of the Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems Program.

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