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 attended the University of Wyoming and graduated in 1895 with the degree in Greek and Latin. At the University of Chicago, Downey earned her…
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The Biosphere 2 Missions

The Biosphere 2 Missions

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 was constructed between 1987 and 1991 by Space Biosphere Ventures and was named Biosphere 2 because it was meant to be the second fully self-sufficient biosphere, after…
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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 whoom she jointly was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Irene Curie was born in Paris and received a decent and classical education before her parents noticed her talents in mathematics and were willing…
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Marthe Louise Vogt and the Neurotransmitters

Marthe Louise Vogt and the Neurotransmitters

On September 8, 1903, German neuroscientist Marthe Louise Vogt was born. Vogt is mainly remembered for her important contributions to the understanding of the role of neurotransmitters in the brain, especially epinephrine. Marthe Louise Vogt was born in Berlin as the daughter of the famous anatomists Cécile and Oskar Vogt. Marthe Vogt studied medicint as well as chemistry at the University of Berlin and earned her doctorate degree with her research on…
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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 was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, as daughter among seven children of Congregational church minister George Roswell Leavitt and his wife…
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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 earned a scholarship to…
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Elizabeth Gertrude Britton Knight and the Study of Mosses

Elizabeth Gertrude Britton Knight and the Study of Mosses

On January 9, 1858, American botanist, bryologist, and educator Elizabeth Gertrude Britton (née Elizabeth Gertrude Knight) was born. She and her husband, Nathaniel Lord Britton played a significant role in the fundraising and creation of the New York Botanical Garden. She is best known for her lasting contributions to bryology, the study of mosses. Elizabeth Gertrude Knight was born in New York City, one of five daughters, to James and Sophie Anne Knight.…
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Margaret Mead and Modern Anthropology

Margaret Mead and Modern Anthropology

On December 16, 1901, American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead was born. She was both a popularizer of the insights of anthropology into modern American and Western culture and a respected, often controversial, academic anthropologist. Her reports about the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures amply informed the 1960s sexual revolution. Maggie was a short little lady with immense courage-a first of a kind-took nothing for granted and…
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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. Annie Jump Cannon was born on December 11, 1863, in Dover, Delaware, as the eldest of three daughters born…
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Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz – Educator and Naturalist

Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz – Educator and Naturalist

On December 5, 1822, American educator and naturalist Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz was born. A researcher of natural history, she was a contributing author to many scientific published works with her husband, Louis Agassiz. Elisabeth Cabot Agassiz received no formal education but it is assumed that she was taught at home and studied languages as well as drawing, music, and reading. She started socializing with intellectuals after her sister got married to Harvard’s…
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