Inspirational Woman Number 1

For International Women’s Week the committee here at WiSTEM thought we should share some of our favourite women and so we’re each going to tell you about our personal favourites each day! Get in touch to tell us who your favourites are @wistemglasgow


Inspirational women number 1 is….. Barbara McClintock and she is my favourite Woman in STEM because I believe the work that she was doing was way ahead of her time.



‘Over the years I have found that it is difficult if not impossible to bring to consciousness of another person the nature of his tacit assumptions when, by some special experiences, I have been made aware of them. This became painfully evident to me in my attempts during the 1950s to convince geneticists that the action of genes had to be and was controlled. It is now equally painful to recognize the fixity of assumptions that many persons hold on the nature of controlling elements in maize and the manners of their operation. One must await the right time for conceptual change.’

Barbara McClintock found Transposable Elements in DNA, these are bits of DNA that can move around the genome. Before McClintock found these elements it was thought that DNA was static and much more simple than we know it is today. McClintock was way ahead of her time and thus many people did not believe her work and she waited 30 years to get a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1983, and to this day she is the only female scientist to hold a noble prize not shared with anybody else. All credit to her! If you want to learn more about BarBara McClintock have a look here…



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