There is a very cool article on the Smithsonian web site called Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know. It is a wonderful example of the contribution of women to the sciences throughout history.
There are, of course (since they only listed 10), many more women who have played important role in the history of science. Here are just a few of them:
Hypatia (b. ca. AD 350–370, d. March 415) was a Greek scholar from Alexandria, Egypt, head of the Platonist school at Alexandria and mathematician. As head of the Platonist school at Alexandria, she also taught philosophy and astronomy. As a Neoplatonist philosopher, she belonged to the mathematic tradition of the Academy of Athens, as represented by Eudoxus of Cnidus; she was of the intellectual school of the 3rd century thinker Plotinus, which encouraged logic and mathematical study in place of empirical enquiry and strongly encouraged law in place of nature. Hypatia lived in Roman Egypt, and was murdered by a Christian mob which accused her of causing religious turmoil. Kathleen Wilder proposes that the murder of Hypatia marked the end of Classical antiquity, while Maria Dzielska and Christian Wildberg note that Hellenistic philosophy continued to flourish in the 5th and 6th centuries, and perhaps until the age of Justinian. (Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypatia_of_Alexandria.)
Ada Byron – Considered by many as the first computer programer, man or woman. She assisted Charles Babbage on his analytical engine, creating the first ever computer program for it that could calculate Bernoulli numbers.
Grace Hopper – Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages. She is credited with popularizing the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches (motivated by an actual moth removed from the computer). Because of the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace”. (Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper)
These are just a small sample of woman scientists. If you are interested in find out more about all the wonderful woman who have had a major impact on science, visit these links: