But I think that would go too far. Shirley Ann Jackson, the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate at MIT, forged her career with fundamental research that underpinned breakthroughs in semiconductor technology. They can cause cancer, disrupt the hormone system and cause reproductive problems. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. From peering at the outer reaches of our universe to probing the innermost workings of our genes, women are pushing back the frontiers of science. Featured: Fourth Industrial Revolution View all. Since then, she has forged a career at the intersection between health and policy, arguing that governments need to draw on clear data, not hazy assumptions, to build healthy communities. We could potentially cure a lot of diseases. In her interview, she describes the thrill of first observing a signal sent from the collision of two black holes 1.