Lise Meitner: The Scientist Who Discovered Nuclear Fission

You may have heard of Lise Meitner, although chances are you have not. She was the unpaid female scientist who discovered nuclear fission and who, it is said, instructed a colleague in how to split the atom, which led to his receiving a Nobel Prize.

Every so often I run into these women who are discoverers, inventors and founders, but often I forget their names just as quickly as I learn them. It is common for women’s work to be stolen by men, then their memories are over-written, erased and forgotten.

Like many women, Lise Meitner achieved despite every attempt by men to thwart her efforts. As a woman, she was not formally permitted to study at the university, was not allowed access to the laboratory and did her work without pay.

Unfortunately, nihilistic men used her discovery to create the atomic bomb. It is said that she was asked to work on the Manhattan Project and she refused.

More about Lise Meitner:

Lise Meitner’s story is inspirational because it shows how much we can and do accomplish despite the many obstacles they place in our path.

It, also, demonstrates – as do so many other stories like this one – how men steal from women, give each other awards, and never give women credit for doing anything except making sandwiches.