The sciences, in general, are male-dominated fields, and biology is no exception. In 2002, only 34 percent of American students who earned undergraduate degrees in science were women. The percentage was even lower for women graduating with a doctorate in science: 22 percent. Over the years, women have struggled to be allowed to study and research in the biological sciences, and their efforts have met with occasional successes, often followed by years of frustration and exclusion. The history of women in biology is similar to the histories of women in many other fields. However, in biology, one particular woman's talents were recognized as early as the 12th century.

Biology's Female Pioneers

The first female biologist recognized in print was Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). Von Bingen was an ...

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