Skip Nav
Geek Culture
Whoa: This Harry Potter Theory Could've Changed the Series Completely
Digital Life
A Teen's Talent Show Trick Has the Internet Completely Freaking Out
Digital Life
11 New Slang Terms to Memorize If You Want to Stay Cool

Margaret Thatcher Biography

Political Science: Margaret Thatcher Started in STEM

Britain's first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the age of 87. Many knew Margaret, dubbed "The Iron Lady" for her steadfastness, as a skilled politician and dedicated conservative — but the UK's longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century actually got her career start in science.

Margaret graduated from Oxford with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry after completing a dissertation on X-ray crystallography (mapping the chemical bonds and positions of atoms in a crystal) of gramicidin, an antibiotic.

The influence of science on the former female PM was significant. She was mentored by pioneering women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) early on. Dorothy Hodgkin, a Nobel Prize winner for her groundbreaking work with penicillin, was Margaret's dissertation advisor during her years at Oxford.

Later on, despite her views as a staunch financial conservative, Margaret gave a surprising speech in 1989 before the United Nations calling for a "vast international, co-operative effort" to reduce greenhouse gases and fund green energy research.

There's no doubt that Margaret Thatcher was a strong-willed woman with many words of wisdom. Whether or not you agree with her politics, it is hard to deny that Margaret Thatcher was a trailblazer in many ways: first, as a chemist in the '50s, a time when many other women were relegated to housework, and then as Britain's highest ranking official.

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Women IRL Instagram Account
How to Print Instagram Photos
Fashion-Forward Wearables
I Look Like an Engineer Hashtag
Why Apple's Photo Library Is Bad
Facebook Soul Mate Quiz
How Domino's of All Places Became a Thriving Tech Company

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Technology & Gadgets
X