Lost Women of Science

Lost Women of Science tells the remarkable stories of groundbreaking women who never got the full recognition they deserved – until now.

The Lost Women of Science Initiative is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with two related missions: To tell the forgotten stories of female scientists who made groundbreaking achievements in their fields and to inspire girls and young women to embark on careers in STEM.

The Initiative’s flagship is the Lost Women of Science podcast, which, through deep reporting and rich storytelling, revisits the historical record one extraordinary scientist at a time.

Podcast available on
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Introducing Shorts

We’re excited to introduce Shorts, a new series from Lost Women of Science. Each 30-minute episode is like a mini season that tells the story of one scientist.

Listen HereListen to the Trailer

Listen to Season 3

Yvonne Y. Clark, known as Y.Y. throughout her career, has also been nicknamed “The First Lady of Engineering,” because of her groundbreaking achievements as a Black female mechanical engineer. Season 3 of Lost Women of Science traces her trajectory, from her unconventional childhood interest in fixing appliances to civil rights breakthroughs in the segregated South; from her trailblazing role at historically Black colleges and universities to her work at NASA. What can Y.Y. teach us about what it means to be the first in a scientific field, especially as a Black woman in America?

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What our listeners say

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What a great idea for a show! The Matilda Effect episode was fascinating. Can’t wait for more. Telling all of my friends about this!

- cgb41, Apple Podcasts
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Wonderful podcast!
Inspiring story of a bright and compassionate physician, ahead of her time. I am fascinated and eager for future episodes. What a delightful random discovery!

-Annie Flycaster, Apple Podcasts
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Great show
Fabulous concept, well executed. I really like the voice of the host too, which is often a sticking point with me. Congratulations, all!

-Saltman52, Apple Podcasts
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Waiting (not so) patiently for each episode!
This show was recommended on another podcast I listen to and I am so glad to have found this gem! This podcast is well done and inspiring. The narrator’s voice is very even and the story is unfolded so you’re left on a cliffhanger waiting to hear about the next chapter of these great ladies lives! Definitely sending this to friends.

-Bananabox116, Apple Podcasts
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I have already shared this on my Facebook and will be hyping it when more episodes come out on my science tiktok! More please and soon!

-Shadowstar films & photography, Apple Podcasts
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Absolutely love the Lost Women of Science podcast and am SO excited to hear the new season! It's like a true crime podcast but for women in STEM!

-Sibina Wex (@SabuWex), Twitter
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The second episode of Lost Women of Science, my new favourite podcast, is named The Matilda Effect.
Matilda Effect means someone else gets credit for a woman's work and that someone else is a man.

-Umme H. Faisal, MBBS (@stethospeaks), Twitter
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I have shared the show more than once on social media. I believe it's extremely important to showcase these women in science - most of whom, even as a math/science teacher, I am unfamiliar with. Thank you!

- Emma S., PRX
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Loved the series on Clara Von Neuman (got me hooked). I've begun rolling my eyes at mentions of Ada Lovelace (over credited, but great communicator about the Babbage Engine). However, I now have a GREAT to highlight as a better example.

- Helen T., PRX
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As a woman trained in physics, I look forward to these stories. Especially loved the one about Madame Wu :)

- Evelyne Y., PRX
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Great show. I like how fair and balanced it is. Credits all people when deserved. Really appreciate efforts by Katie Hafner and team to explore depths of story.

- David H., PRX
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I’m a podcast snob - can’t stand poor audio, lazy editing - and this show is so good on every level, from story to interview style to sound quality. LOVE IT!

- Theresa G., PRX

About our host

Katie Hafner

Host & Executive Producer

Katie Hafner was a longtime reporter for The New York Times, where she continues to be a frequent contributor. Katie is uniquely positioned to tell the stories of lost women of science. Not only does she bring a skilled hand to complex narratives, but she has been writing about women in STEM for nearly 30 years. She is the author of six books of non-fiction, and her first novel, The Boys, was published in July 2022 by Spiegel & Grau. Katie is also the host and executive producer of Our Mothers Ourselves, an interview podcast that celebrates extraordinary mothers.