Famous People With Chemistry Degrees

3 famous chemists who changed our understanding of the central science


Have you ever wondered about the educational backgrounds of some of the world’s most famous people? From actors to politicians and even musicians, many well-known individuals have degrees in fields that may surprise you. In this article, we’ll explore some famous people who hold degrees in chemistry.

1. Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, earned a degree in chemistry from Oxford University. This degree undoubtedly gave her a unique perspective on science and technology, which she later used to help shape her policies.

2. Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik, the actress who played Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit TV show “The Big Bang Theory,” holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. However, before pursuing her doctorate, she earned a degree in neuroscience and Hebrew studies from the same university.

3. Mario Molina

Mario Molina was a Mexican chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 for his work on the depletion of the ozone layer. Molina earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

4. Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor of Germany, holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Leipzig. Her expertise in science and technology has helped her to make informed decisions about environmental policy and energy.

5. Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel in space, but before she became an astronaut, she earned a degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University. This degree helped her to develop the skills and knowledge she needed to succeed in her career as an astronaut.

6. Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle was an Irish natural philosopher and chemist who is considered one of the founders of modern chemistry. He is best known for his work on the behavior of gases, which led to the development of Boyle’s Law. Boyle earned his degree in law from the University of Geneva, but his interest in science led him to pursue a career in chemistry.

7. Ellen Swallow Richards

Ellen Swallow Richards was the first woman to earn a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She earned her degree in chemistry in 1873 and went on to become a prominent figure in the field of environmental science.

8. Linus Pauling

Linus Pauling was an American chemist and peace activist who is the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes, one in chemistry and one in peace. Pauling earned his degree in chemical engineering from Oregon State University.

9. Brian May

Brian May is best known as the lead guitarist for the rock band Queen, but before he pursued a career in music, he earned a degree in physics and mathematics from Imperial College London. May later went on to earn a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the same university.

10. Gertrude Elion

Gertrude Elion was an American biochemist and pharmacologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1988 for her work on the development of drugs to treat leukemia and other diseases. Elion earned her degree in chemistry from Hunter College and later went on to earn a Ph.D. in pharmacology from New York University.


As you can see, many famous people have degrees in chemistry. From politicians to musicians and astronauts, these individuals have used their knowledge of chemistry to make significant contributions to their fields. Whether you’re interested in science or not, it’s always fascinating to learn about the educational backgrounds of the people who have made an impact on our world.