Recently, the issue of single-use plastic and its impact on the environment has come to the fore, with many companies vowing to cut back their plastic use, and increased media coverage across the globe. It isn’t difficult to see why there is a growing passion for addressing the problem of plastic—its environmental significance is truly shocking—and in 2016 the Ellen MacArthur Foundation published a report that concluded there will be as much plastic in the ocean as fish by 2020.
Throughout our history, women have made varied and important contributions to the fields of science, technology, and medicine. Their pioneering work, often fought against overwhelming social prejudice, still affects our lives to this day. Women’s History Month is the ideal time to celebrate the achievements of female scientists and medics from past to present—and perhaps discover some new inspiration.
In 1967, Christiaan Barnard carried out the first ever human-to-human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. The patient and recipient of a new heart was 53-year-old Lewis Washkansky, and the success of the operation took centre-stage in the world’s media as hourly bulletins followed his recovery.
On the 20th of August 1947, 16 German physicians were found guilty of heinous crimes against humanity. They had been willing participants in one of the largest examples of ethnic cleansing in modern history. During the Second World War, these Nazi doctors had conducted pseudoscientific medical experiments upon concentration camp prisoners and the stories that unfolded during their trial