Nov 2, 2022 - News

Five Arizonans make top female scientists list

Illustration of a golden microscope trophy.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Five women from Arizona universities were on's first list of the top 1,000 female scientists in the world.

  •, an online academic research portal, compiled the rankings after examining nearly 167,000 scientist profiles across 24 research disciplines using Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Graph.

Why it matters: Academic research is an overwhelmingly male dominated field, with women representing only 33% of people employed in scientific research worldwide.

  • "In the predominantly masculine environment of academic research where an unconscious bias prevails even in authorship, this list of the top female scientists signals a milestone," wrote.

1 big bragging right: Four of the five Arizona scientists were from ASU, while the other was from UofA.

  • Arizona's five were among the 623 American scientists who made the list.

Nancy Eisenberg: The top Arizonan on the list was ranked 133rd globally and 86th nationally. She retired in 2020 but is an emeritus professor at ASU who specializes in developmental psychology, social psychology, prosocial behavior, empathy and emotionality.

Carol Barnes: Ranked 424th globally and 263rd nationally, Barnes is the only UofA researcher on the list. She is a professor of psychology, neuroscience and neurology who is known for her work in hippocampal formation, hippocampus, electrophysiology and long-term potentiation.

Barbara Ainsworth: She's ranked 488th globally, and is an emeritus professor at ASU. Her areas of expertise are physical activity assessment, including the areas of physical activity epidemiology and physical activity in women.

Alexandra Navrotsky: No. ​​877 on the list, and 547th in the U.S., Navrotsky is a professor at ASU's School of Molecular Sciences. Her primary scientific interests are in calorimetry, enthalpy and inorganic chemistry among others.

Carolyn Compton: Ranked 910th worldwide and 574th nationally. Compton is an academic pathologist specializing in gastrointestinal disease and is board-certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology at ASU. She deals primarily with pathology, internal medicine and colorectal cancer.


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