In 1978 Mazumdar-Shaw became managing director for Biocon India, a business she referred to in newspaper ads as a “multinational company.” What she neglected to tell applicants, however, was that Biocon India was operating out of her home garage. With just two unlikely employees, a master brewer’s certificate, and her father’s blessing Mazumdar-Shaw began a business specializing in industrial enzymes for food and textile makers around the globe.
A child of the Great Depression, Kathryn (Kitty) Hach-Darrow watched her family struggle to recover after they lost their car dealership. She knew that keeping things afloat meant getting creative.
Mary Lowe Good
Mary Lowe Good didn’t envision the head-spinning list of accomplishments that awaited her when setting off for college. But one day in a required chemistry course, Good learned about Marie Curie and was captivated by her scientific achievements.
Mildred Cohn was determined to prove that talent should be the only qualification for working in chemistry. At a time when open displays of prejudice against women and Jews were not uncommon, she fought for and won a place in high-level government and university laboratories.
Through the airplane window 19-year-old Nancy Chang watched Taiwan disappear beneath her. To pass the time on the long trip to the United States, where she was to attend Brown University, she opened a copy of The Double Helix, James Watson’s first-person account of discovering the structure of DNA. Sixteen hours later the plane touched down in Boston. Chang had made up her mind: she would study biology.
Paula Hammond is in pursuit of the invisible. In her lab at MIT she creates technologies so small that you can’t see them with most microscopes—that is, until they save a soldier’s life on the battlefield, or illuminate light bulbs using stored solar power.
In 1965 the chemical company DuPont was looking for its next big innovations, the kind of products that would change people’s lives. It assigned a research chemist named Stephanie Kwolek to go find one.
An ambitious teenaged Uma Chowdhry left her home in India to study chemistry in the United States, determined to win a Nobel Prize. But after falling in love with materials science, the study of solids at the molecular level, Chowdhry decided to work in industrial research.