This phenomenal young woman found a cure for leprosy, but the man she worked with got the credit

Alice Ball was just 24 when she did her lifesaving work

Timeline
Timeline
Aug 9, 2017 · 5 min read
Alice Augusta Ball, 1892-1916. (Wikimedia)

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The Molokai Island leper colonies housed nearly 1000 patients at the end of the 19th century. (Corbis via Getty Images)
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Ball saw potential in the fruit of the Chaulmoogra tree (left) for curing leprosy. (Wikimedia) | Dean Hall, on the campus of the University of Hawaii, was named after Dr. Arthur Dean, who took credit for Ball’s discovery after her death. (University of Hawaii)

Timeline

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Timeline

Timeline puts our world in context, deepening the way we understand the news

Timeline

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Timeline

Timeline puts our world in context, deepening the way we understand the news

The Matilda Effect
The Matilda Effect
The Matilda Effect

About this Collection

The Matilda Effect

If you believe the history books, science is a guy thing. Discoveries are made by men, which spur further innovation by men, followed by acclaim and prizes for men. But too often, there is an unsung woman genius who deserves just as much credit. “The Matilda Effect” is the term coined by science historian Martha Rossiter to describe the too-common situation of a man getting credit for groundbreaking work done by a woman. In our series of that same name, Timeline takes a look at five of these scientists and the amazing, underrated work they’ve done. Produced in partnership with Timeline.com, a new publication that looks to the past to make sense of the present.

If you believe the history books, science is a guy thing. Discoveries are made by men, which spur further innovation by men, followed by acclaim and prizes for men. But too often, there is an unsung woman genius who deserves just as much credit. “The Matilda Effect” is the term coined by science historian Martha Rossiter to describe the too-common situation of a man getting credit for groundbreaking work done by a woman. In our series of that same name, Timeline takes a look at five of these scientists and the amazing, underrated work they’ve done. Produced in partnership with Timeline.com, a new publication that looks to the past to make sense of the present.

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