Skip Nav
Digital Life
A Guide to Hashtags, Every Day of the Week
Politics
One of Trump's Old Tweets Resurfaced to Inspire This Entertaining New Meme
Geek Culture
This Theory About Neville Longbottom's Wand Explains Everything About Him

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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
Ada Lovelace Facts
Teachers Admit to Stereotypical Bias Against Girls in STEM
STEM Books For Kids
Male Engineer Writes Letter Supporting Female Engineers
Lego Adds Female Minifigures
Language Apps
Made With Code Program by Google

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
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds