A number of women made important contributions to astronomy as part of a Harvard College Observatory project in the early 1900s.
Williamina Fleming, Annie Jump Cannon, Antonia Maury, and Henrietta Leavitt were responsible for discovering thousands of stars and helped develop new ways of classifying them.
Other women made significant contributions to highly specialized fields, from Elizabeth Knight Britton, who wrote 350 papers on mosses, to Margaret Washburn, who published a highly regarded study of animal psychology, to Charlotte Scott, who developed new ideas in algebraic geometry.
Women scientists, however, had a difficult time at every stage of their careers.
Only a few were admitted into the top graduate schools; fewer still were able to find teaching or other jobs after receiving their degrees; and even fewer were invited into the main scientific societies.
The National Academy of Sciences, for example, was founded in 1863 but did not elect a woman member until 1925, when Florence Sabin was admitted.