20th century, Science

Evidence and Reason, My Heroes and Guides: Naomi Weisstein

By Caroline Buckee One of the most pervasive and damaging myths about the differences between the sexes is that women are fundamentally less rational than men. This stereotype is particularly apparent in the context of science and mathematics; in 2005 the Dean of Harvard University suggested that the current under-representation of females in science and… Continue reading Evidence and Reason, My Heroes and Guides: Naomi Weisstein

20th century, Science

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin and the Crystallography Quest

By Navaratnarajah Kuganathan With a career spanning six decades British chemist Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin had a huge impact in the world of science and beyond. Her determination by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances won her the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and earned her a place in history as one of the… Continue reading Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin and the Crystallography Quest

20th century, Science

Henrietta Swan Leavitt and the Harvard Computers

By Melanie O'Sullivan 'What a variable star 'fiend' Miss Leavitt is, one can't keep up with the roll of the new discoveries.'- Charles Young of Princeton, to Edward Pickering in a letter. The director of the Harvard College Observatory, Edward Pickering, frustrated with the inefficiency of his male assistants, once declared his 'maid could do… Continue reading Henrietta Swan Leavitt and the Harvard Computers

20th century, Science

Irene Joliot-Curie: Pioneer of Atomic Science

By Harriet Teare Irene Joliot-Curie's success as a scientist, principally involved in continuing the investigation into artificial radiation, rivalled even that of her mother, Marie. This article intends to briefly explore some of the outstanding science that led this woman, as part of a collaboration of husband and wife, to some of the extraordinary findings… Continue reading Irene Joliot-Curie: Pioneer of Atomic Science

19th century, Science

Mary Fairfax Somerville: Queen of Nineteenth Century Science

By Lamorna Newcombe Fifteen year old Mary Fairfax was one day shown an intriguing problem in a ladies' fashion magazine at an Edinburgh tea-party. However, she was more fascinated by the code that the answer was presented in than the answer itself. At that time, little did she know that her interest in algebra would… Continue reading Mary Fairfax Somerville: Queen of Nineteenth Century Science

20th century, Science

Lise Meitner : The Nucleus of Fission

By Nicola Davies 'In terms of 19th century stereotypes or rhetorical idealizations, a woman scientist was a contradiction in terms... Women scientists were thus caught between two almost mutually exclusive stereotypes: as scientists, they were atypical women; as women they were unusual scientists.' Lise Meitner's name is to many an unfamiliar one, occasionally found somewhere… Continue reading Lise Meitner : The Nucleus of Fission

20th century, Science

Grace Hopper: Pioneer of programming and ‘Man of the Year’

By Maike Kaufman In 1969 the US Data Processing Management Association awarded its first annual 'Man of the Year' Award for outstanding contributions to the information processing industry. That year's chosen recipient, although a pioneer in the area of computing, was nevertheless an unusual one: Captain Grace Murray Hopper, the first 'Man of the Year',… Continue reading Grace Hopper: Pioneer of programming and ‘Man of the Year’

18th century, Science

Emilie du Chatelet: The Multi-Tasking Marquise

By Mohsin Khan Emilie du Chatelet, regarded for too long as a footnote of history being a mistress of Voltaire, was a driven and passionate physicist, mathematician and translator. She derived the equation for kinetic energy by studying the work of Leibniz and created the only existing French translation of Newton's Principia. Du Chatelet's scientific… Continue reading Emilie du Chatelet: The Multi-Tasking Marquise

20th century, Science

Dorothea Bate: Paleontology Pioneer and Mistress of the Museum

By Claire Standley You'd be forgiven for not recognising the name Dorothea Bate; an elusive figure of history, she is most likely to be remembered for her association with the Natural History Museum, as well as her frequent field trips to the Mediterranean. However, through recent biographical research, she has been rediscovered as a wholesome,… Continue reading Dorothea Bate: Paleontology Pioneer and Mistress of the Museum

Medieval, Science

Trota di Ruggiero: The Lady of Salerno Restored

By Kate Manns Pre-medieval texts and ancient manuscripts provided reference for early physicians and therapists, detailing discoveries from anatomy to diagnosis and treatment. For nearly five hundred years, The Trotulawas the only truly comprehensive compendium of female and paediatric medicine in this genre. Believed to be written in the early twelfth century; mystery and controversy… Continue reading Trota di Ruggiero: The Lady of Salerno Restored