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Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole

NAME: Mary Seacole

BORN/DIED: 23rd November 1805 – 14th May 1881

JOB: Nurse

KEY FACTS: Mary was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Her father was Scottish while her mother was from the West Indies. Her mother ran a hotel and Mary spent her childhood learning from her mother and helping her to create natural medicines. Mary decided to become a nurse and spent a period of time travelling around the world. When Mary heard about the Crimean War, she travelled to Crimea to help the injured soldiers. It was there she gained the nickname of ‘Mother Seacole’ for her efforts to help the wounded. She even ventured out onto the battlefields in order to do so.

ACHIEVEMENTS: A statue of Mary can be found outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London. She was also posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991.

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale

NAME: Florence Nightingale

BORN/DIED: 12th May 1820 – 13th August 1913

JOB: Nurse

KEY FACTS: Florence was born into a wealthy family and received a good education. She wanted to help other people so decided to train to be a nurse. At the time, this was not thought to a suitable profession for a well educated woman. When the Crimean War broke out in 1854 Florence helped to care for wounded soldiers. She helped to give nursing a favourable reputation and gained the nickname ‘the lady with the light’.

ACHIEVEMENTS: She is known as the founder of modern nursing and established a nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. The Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, was named in her honour and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

NAME: Benjamin Franklin

BORN/DIED: 17th Jan 1706 – 17th April 1790

JOB: Political thinker and founding father of the USA, scientist and inventor.

KEY FACTS: Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston Massachusetts in the USA. He stopped going to school when he was 10 and gained most of his education from reading books. Throughout his career he excelled in many areas. He is best known as one of the founding fathers of the USA. He was also a scientist and inventor. He was interested in lots of areas including meteorology, wave theory of light and electricity. He designed an experiment to prove that lightening was electricity by flying a kite in a storm. He went on to invent the lightening rod amongst other things.

ACHIEVEMENTS: He earned the title of the ‘First American’ for his work as a founding father of America. He invented the lightening rod, glass harmonica (a glass musical instrument), Franklin stove (a metal fireplace designed to produce more heat and less smoke) and bifocal glasses (with near and long distance lenses).

Alexander Fleming

alexander fleming
alexander fleming

NAME: Alexander Fleming

BORN/DIED: 6th August 1881 – 11th March 1955

JOB: Biologist Botanist Pharmacologist

KEY FACTS: Alexander was born in Scotland, later moving to London to train to be a doctor. During World War 1 he worked near the battlefields as a doctor, treating wounded soldiers. He became particularly interested in research after witnessing many soldiers die from infected battle wounds. He hoped to find a cure and this research led to his discovery of penicillin. This discovery was accidental; Fleming had a reputation for being very messy and as a result, a mould releasing penicillin had grown in his laboratory. He noticed that bacteria didn’t grow near this mould and hence discovered the healing properties of penicillin.

ACHIEVEMENTS: He is best known for discovering penicillin and was awarded a Nobel Prize for this discovery.

Mayim Bialik

mayim pic

NAME: Mayim Bialik

BORN: 12th December 1975

JOB: Neuroscientist and actress

KEY FACTS: Mayim plays the role of a neuroscientist both in the TV series The Big Bang Theory and in real life. Born in America, Mayim earned her PhD in neuroscience. She often speaks about her love for science in interviews and is passionate about encouraging women into STEM careers.

ACHIEVEMENTS: PhD in neuroscience. Emmy nominated actress.

By iDominick [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth Blackburn

Elizabeth Blackburn

NAME: Elizabeth Blackburn

BORN: 26 November 1948

BORN: Molecular Biologist

Keyfacts: Elizabeth Blackburn was born and studied in Australia, completing her PhD at The University of Cambridge, UK. She has worked within the field of molecular biology and is world famous for her study of telomeres (the caps at the end of each strand of DNA, protecting our chromosomes).design is built correctly.

ACHIEVEMENTS: She won the Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 2009, sharing this with two other scientists for their work on chromosomes. She is the first Australian woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Photo by Chemical Heritage Foundation, CC BY-SA 3.0,