Chances are, you’ve heard of nuclear fission — the term by Austrian physicist Lise Meitner coined in her theoretical explanation of the phenomenon she and Hahn discovered together. But the pioneering researcher — once described by Albert Einstein to their mutual colleagues as “our Marie Curie,” a nod to the first female recipient of the Nobel Prize — was effectively robbed of the world renowned award. If it weren’t for her, we might never have had nuclear fission — or, for that matter, the atomic bomb.
“In situations where she knows she’s right, and that her actions and decisions can help someone, she’ll ignore the phrase, ‘That’s impossible,’” says Tetyana Teren, vice president of PEN Ukraine.
“If people are laughing with you,” she says, “you’ve won them over. And then you could actually teach them something that’s very heavy.”
Roxelana, better known as Hurrem Sultan, used a potent combination of intelligence and grace to transform herself from Suleiman the Magnificent’s favorite concubine into a key political operator in the 16th-century Ottoman Empire. Upending hundreds of years of tradition, Roxelana acquired the kind of outsize influence no woman before her had ever enjoyed in the empire, leaving a lasting imprint on both Ottoman history and European imagination.
Born in western Latvia, Reizniece-Ozola was introduced to the game as a child. Attaining the status of Woman Grandmaster by the age of 21 — she currently ranks 184th in the world among active women — she was drawn into politics by a desire to help turn her country of 2 million from an ex-Soviet backwater to a prosperous European welfare state.
Since 2009, Grybauskaite has been a pivotal force in both Lithuanian and regional politics. At home, her influence exceeds the degree presidents typically enjoy in semi-presidential republics such as Lithuania, where the prime minister and parliament are supposed to do most of the governing. Abroad, she’s become the European Union’s most vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin, decrying the Russian president’s expansionist policies and calling for Western unity in the face of Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine.