women in science

June Etta Downey and the Individual Will-Temperament Test

June Etta Downey and the Individual Will-Temperament Test

On July 13, 1875, American psychologist June Etta Downey was born. Downey is best known for having developed the Individual Will-Temperament Test, which was one of the first tests to evaluate character traits separately from intellectual capacity and the first to use psychographic methods for interpretation. June Downey – Early Years June Downey was born in Laramie, Wyoming to Stephen Wheeler Downey and Evangeline (Owen) Downey as the second child in a…
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From Ambition to Obsession – Jane Franklin and the Lost Franklin Expedition

From Ambition to Obsession – Jane Franklin and the Lost Franklin Expedition

On December 4, 1791, Lady Jane Franklin, Tasmanian pioneer, traveler and second wife of the explorer Sir John Franklin, was born. She was the first woman to climb Mount Wellington and to travel overland from Melbourne to Sydney. Above all Lady Franklin is remembered for the search she organized from 1850 to 1857 for Sir John Franklin‘s lost Arctic expedition. Early Years Jane Franklin was born as Jane Griffin, the second daughter…
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Ellen Swallow Richards and Home Economics

Ellen Swallow Richards and Home Economics

On December 3, 1842, American chemist Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards was born. She was the foremost female industrial and environmental chemist in the United States during the 19th century. Her pioneering work in sanitary engineering and experimental research in domestic science widened professional opportunities for women in the sciences and laid a foundation for the new science of home economics. “For this knowledge of right living, we have sought a new name……
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The Biosphere 2 Missions – Failures and Lessons Learned

The Biosphere 2 Missions – Failures and Lessons Learned

On September 26, 1991, the first mission of Biosphere 2 began. Biosphere 2 is an Earth systems science research facility located in Oracle, Arizona, built to be an artificial, materially closed ecological system, or vivarium. It remains the largest closed system ever created. Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona Biosphere 2 was constructed between 1987 and 1991 by Space Biosphere Ventures and was named Biosphere 2 because it was meant to be the…
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Irène Joliot-Curie and Artificial Radioactivity

Irène Joliot-Curie and Artificial Radioactivity

On September 12, 1897, French Physicist and Nobel Laureate Irène Joliot-Curie was born. She was the daughter of Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie and the wife of Frédéric Joliot-Curie, with whom she jointly was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. In the Footsteps of Giants Irène Curie was the elder daughter of Nobel Prize winners Marie and Pierre Curie.[3] When she was eight years…
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Marthe Louise Vogt and the Role of Neurotransmitters in the Human Brain

Marthe Louise Vogt and the Role of Neurotransmitters in the Human Brain

On September 8, 1903, German neuroscientist Marthe Louise Vogt was born. She is considered one of the important neuroscientists of the 20th century and is mainly remembered for her important contributions to the understanding of the role of neurotransmitters in the brain, especially epinephrine. Marthe Louise Vogt – Early Years Marthe Vogt was the older of two daughters of Oskar Vogt and Cécile Vogt, both doctors and brain researchers. In 1903, her…
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Henrietta Swan Leavitt and the Light of the Cepheids

Henrietta Swan Leavitt and the Light of the Cepheids

On July 4, 1868, American astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt was born. She is best known for her discovery of the relation between the luminosity and the period of Cepheid variable stars. Based on her luminosity-period relation for Cepheids, Edwin Hubble was able to determine that the universe is expanding. Henrietta Swan Leavitt – Early Years Henrietta Swan Leavitt was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, as daughter among seven children of Congregational church minister…
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Maria Goeppert Mayer and the Nuclear Shell Model

Maria Goeppert Mayer and the Nuclear Shell Model

On June 28, 1906, German-born Physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer was born. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. She was the second female Nobel laureate in physics, after Marie Curie. “Mathematics began to seem too much like puzzle solving. Physics is puzzle solving, too, but of puzzles created by nature, not by the mind of man.” — Maria Goeppert-Mayer, as quoted…
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Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and the Composition of Stars

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and the Composition of Stars

On May 10, 1900, British–American astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin was born. She was the first to apply laws of atomic physics to the study of the temperature and density of stellar bodies, and the first to conclude that hydrogen and helium are the two most common elements in the universe. It was another 20 years before Payne’s original claim was confirmed, by Fred Hoyle. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin – Early Years Cecilia…
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Annie Jump Cannon and the Catalogue of Stars

Annie Jump Cannon and the Catalogue of Stars

On December 11, 1863, American astronomer Annie Jump Cannon was born. Her cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme, which was the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures. “A life spent in the routine of science need not destroy the attractive human element of a woman’s nature.” —…
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