Commemorate these incredible achievements by women in STEM in the past year
Women in science
Modern science and technology have been built on the backs of women for as long as time can tell, yet many of them have never even been acknowledged or given their due credit. From Mileva Marvić to Henrietta Lacks, medicine, engineering, and generally STEM fields would be nowhere without women in STEM and their contributions.
Ironically, not only do these women not get their deserved recognition, STEM fields are notoriously male-dominated even today, with gatekeeping in various forms and stages. That’s why we want to take a moment to celebrate these iconic moments for women in STEM in 2021:
Biomedical engineer and CEO of EpiBone, Nina Tandon, has been working to come to a breakthrough for her firm. The company aims to create bones using stem cells from the patient’s own bones and DNA, producing customized implants and reactors that, over time, grow new bones.
In 2020, Jennifer Doudna was the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on gene mapping and identification. Although her research is fascinating in general, in regards to the pandemic in particular, Doudna shared some incredible insights into how her work could actually help with future pandemics. She talked about how her gene-editing technology has some incredible potential to help us address the challenges that come with mass outbreaks, virus mutations, and bacteria, rather than the ethically and morally questionable uses that are possible. Her lab found ways to adapt to changing conditions and find alternatives for new testing and diagnostics tools for COVID-19.
There’s no way this list could be complete without mentioning the groundbreaking work of Dr. Özlem Türeci, the German-born Turkish researcher, along with her husband Dr. Ugur Sahin, who made one of the first COVID-19 vaccines. The power duo founded and run the company BioNTech, a small start-up that had been working on developing their technology for several years before gaining recognition for their work. The pair, with very notable contributions from Dr. Türeci, has been able to revolutionize public health with their work.
Deciding not to be one of the hidden figures in the incredible discoveries and accomplishments that science and medicine have accomplished in the past year alone, Dr. Corbett has been recognized for her work in multiple ways. Dr. Fauci, a leading infectious diseases expert, has praised and acknowledged her contributions and role in vaccine research and development, and she has remained one of the most fundamental individuals in this race against COVID-19.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, especially when we think about the devastating impacts that COVID-19 had on the world. Women make up around 70% of healthcare and social workers, and no amount of appreciation could ever be enough.
There are so many incredible things these and other women and minorities have achieved, not only in 2021 but for millennia before. We hope to honor, celebrate, and witness their work, as well as women’s contributions in other fields, in the future too!
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