12 Quotes From Incredible Female Scientists That Will Inspire You To Reach Higher

Part 1 of our "Women in Science" series

March is Women's History Month, and we at A Plus are excited to bring you a four-part series honoring women who have made incredible contributions to scientific discovery and pushed the boundaries of human knowledge. 

Historically, women in STEM fields have had a difficult time finding opportunities to learn or getting proper credit for their achievements. Understandably, this has turned many women off to science, and demanded a lot of tenacity from those who stayed with it.

Here are 12 of our favorite quotes from inspiring women who have faced incredible odds yet changed the world through their contributions to science:

1. "Girls think that being glamorous means making mistakes and being irresponsible. And that's just not true. The smarter you are, the better prepared you are to make decisions in your life, the more likely you are to lead a satisfying life and be glamorous and fun and anything you want to be." -Danica McKellar (mathematician, author, actress from "The Wonder Years")

Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com
Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

2. "Above all, don't fear difficult moments. The best comes from them." Rita Levi-Montalcini (Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist who co-discovered nerve growth factor)

3. "For whatever reason, I didn't succumb to the stereotype that science wasn't for girls. I got encouragement from my parents. I never ran into a teacher or a counselor who told me that science was for boys. A lot of my friends did." Sally Ride (first American woman in space)

4.  "When I see weird behavior [from male colleagues], my first inclination is not to think, 'What's wrong with me. It's, 'What the heck is wrong with these guys?'" -Lene Vestergaard Hau (physicist, known for her work with cold atoms and light)

5. "Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." -Marie Curie (first scientist to be awarded a Nobel Prize in two different categories)

6. "Life need not be easy, provided only that it is not empty." -Lise Meitner (physicist who discovered nuclear fission of uranium)

7. "Don't be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Don't let others discourage you or tell you that you can't do it. In my day I was told women didn't go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn't." -Gertrude Elion (Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who developed medications to treat leukemia, malaria, meningitis, herpes, and more)

8. "You look at science (or at least talk of it) as some sort of demoralising invention of man, something apart from real life, and which must be cautiously guarded and kept separate from everyday existence. But science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated." -Rosalind Franklin (contributed to the discovery of the structure of DNA)

9. "We look at science as something very elite, which only a few people can learn. That's just not true. You just have to start early and give kids a foundation. Kids live up, or down, to expectations." -Mae Jemison (first Black woman in space)


10. "Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise." -Grace Hopper (US Navy admiral and inventor of the first compiler for computer languages)

11. "My mother always taught us that if people don't agree with you, the important thing is to listen to them. But if you've listened to them carefully and you still think that you're right, then you must have the courage of your convictions." -Jane Goodall (primatologist who has dedicated her life to conservation and animal rights)

12. "If you know you are on the right track, if you have this inner knowledge, then nobody can turn you off... no matter what they say." -Barbara McClintock (Nobel Prize-winning geneticist known for her discoveries with regulation of genetic expression)

Check out our complete Women In Science series:

Part 1: 12 Quotes From Incredible Female Scientists That Will Inspire You To Reach Higher