If you were asked to name three of your favorite women in science from history, could you?
Marie Curie — the woman who helped pioneer research on radioactivity, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win the Nobel Prize twice, and still the only person to win it in two different sciences — might come to mind. But who else?
If we're being honest, the scientists who most of us are familiar with happen to generally be white males. Now while there's no denying that these men helped us make some important contributions to science, they often overshadow women who have been just as vital but are far too often pushed to the side.
Beyond Curie is a series of 32 posters designed by Phingbodhipakkiya, and timed around the April 22 March for Science to promote women in STEM fields who deserve way more attention than they've ever been given.
"[Marie Curie] was a badass, no doubt. But there are many other women scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who have made incredible advances in their respective fields, and never earned the recognition they deserve. I wanted to change that," Phingbodhipakkiya told MORE.
After feeling upset following the results of the 2016 presidential election, Phingbodhipakkiya knew she had to get more involved with these causes that she cared so deeply about, and thus the project was born.
"I wanted to celebrate the rich history of women kicking ass in STEM fields, to show that our world was built by brilliant women, not just men, and of all backgrounds, and to inspire the next generation of young women to go into STEM fields," Phingbodhipakkiya told MORE.
While it is impossible to include all of the incredible women in history, the project will feature the other 16 female winners of the Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, and medicine/physiology, as well as 16 (of the many more) extraordinary lady bosses who have had awesome accomplishments in these fields.
Honestly, looking at the list gives us mixed emotions of awe, anger, and confusion as to how we have never heard of these insanely cool ladies before.
For example, the gritty, tenacious, and brilliant Rita Levi-Montalcini who built a makeshift laboratory in her bedroom and continued to do research following Mussolini's ban of allowing non-aryan citizens in Italy to hold academic or professional careers.
"It was in these conditions that she discovered nerve growth factor and won the Nobel Prize for this landmark achievement in 1968," Phingbodhipakkiya explained. "I always remember her story when I face hardship and disappointment, and it helps me bounce back, get creative, and keep going."
And then there's the incredible story (or "next-level badassery," Phingbodhipakkiya refers to it as) of YouYou Tu, who before 2011 was pretty much forgotten. Even while others wanted to abandon research, Tu persisted and ended up being responsible for saving millions of lives with her discovery of a treatment for malaria. What's even more impressive is that she had no postgraduate degree, no research experience abroad, and she even tested the compound on herself first! Dedication is an understatement.
"I love her bold, 'all-in' spirit and unconventional methods," Phingbodhipakkiya explained to MORE. "Her story is such a great reminder that success doesn't have to hinge on specific degrees and affiliations."
These are only two of the insanely cool women featured in this project who have shown the world what we're truly capable of, and we're already inspired.
You can check out all of the prints and posters Phingbodhipakkiya is selling on Kickstarter and in the upcoming Beyond Curie book! What's even better than learning about these women who have changed our world? Proceeds go toward the Association for Women in Science, to start reaching out to the future generations of "next-level badassery."