Women in science we admire

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale nominated by Suanne Lawrence

During my childhood, I was an avid reader of a particular book about famous scientists. As I recall there were a few women mentioned, one being Marie Curie and the other Florence Nightingale ‘the lady with the lamp’. Even during my nursing training in the early 80’s, Florence Nightingale was portrayed as the inspiring founder of modern nursing but not a scientist. Only recently have I discovered that Florence Nightingale was a pioneer of health service data analysis and graphics. Her visualisations of the data convincingly demonstrated to non-statisticians, the before and after effects on infection mortality of introducing sanitary measures in hospitals in the 1850’s.