women in science

Christine Ladd-Franklin and the Theory of Colour Vision

Christine Ladd-Franklin and the Theory of Colour Vision

On December 1, 1847, American psychologist, logician, and mathematician Christine Ladd-Franklin was born. She is known for contributions to the theory of color vision accounting for the development of man’s color sense which countered the established views of Helmholtz, Young, and Hering. Her position was that color-sense developed in stages. Christine Ladd-Franklin began her higher education at Vassar College, but had to withdraw after only one year due to financial…
Dorothea Erxleben – Germany’s First Female Medical Doctor

Dorothea Erxleben – Germany’s First Female Medical Doctor

Dorothea Christiane Erxleben (1715 – 1762) On November 13, 1715, Dorothea Christiane Erxleben, first female medical doctor in Germany was born. It was very hard for her to overcome the prejudices of the University professors and to finish her studies with a proper examination. What is even worse is that it should take until 1901 that the second woman in Germany was able to make her exams as a doctor. Already Erxleben’s father was…
Florence Sabin – Preparing the Ground for Women in Medical Science

Florence Sabin – Preparing the Ground for Women in Medical Science

Florence Sabin (1871 – 1953) On November 9, 1871, American medical scientist Florence Rena Sabin was born. She was a pioneer for women in science. She was the first woman to hold a full professorship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the first woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the first woman to head a department at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Florence Sabin was born in Colorado,…
Maria Mitchell and the Comets

Maria Mitchell and the Comets

Maria Mitchell (1814-1889) On August 1, 1814, American astronomer Maria Mitchell was born who, in 1847, by using a telescope, discovered a comet which as a result became known as “Miss Mitchell’s Comet“. Maria Mitchell was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA, among nine brothers and sisters to William Mitchell and Lydia Coleman Mitchell, both Unusual for that time, Maria Mitchell’s parents as Quakers valued education and insisted on giving her the…
Maria Goeppert Mayer and the Nuclear Shell Model

Maria Goeppert Mayer and the Nuclear Shell Model

Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972) 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. Maria Goeppert was born in Kattowitz, a city in Prussia, the only child of Friedrich Goeppert and his wife Maria. At age 4, she moved…
Sophie Germain and the Chladni Experiment

Sophie Germain and the Chladni Experiment

Sophie Germain (1776 – 1831) On June 27, 1831, French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Marie-Sophie Germain passed away. She is best known for her work in number theory and contributions to the applied mathematics of acoustics and elasticity. Her work on Fermat’s Last Theorem provided a foundation for mathematicians exploring the subject for hundreds of years after. Because of prejudice against her gender, she was unable to make a career out of…
Barbara McClintock and Cytogenetics

Barbara McClintock and Cytogenetics

Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) On June 16, 1902, American cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock was born. She is one of the world’s most distinguished cytogeneticists and received the 1983 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. Maybe, firt of all you might ask, what is cytogenetics. Well, cytogenetics is a branch of genetics that is concerned with the study of the structure and function of the cell, especially the chromosomes. Chromosomes, as being a…
Anna Comnena – Byzantine Historian of the First Crusade

Anna Comnena – Byzantine Historian of the First Crusade

Anna Comnena (1083 – c.1048) Anna Comnena was a Byzantinian Princess in the 11th century. She is considered the world’s first female historian and a major source of information about the reign of her father, Alexius I. in the times of the crusades, . Of course this is rather unusual for the time being, that a princess writes about the life of her father, The Alexiad, and even more that…
Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim and the Medieval Drama

Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim and the Medieval Drama

Hrosvitha of Gandersheim (c.935 – c.1002) Although her date of birth is not known exactly, today’s post features “the most remarkable woman” of the early middle ages, Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim (in German also often referred to as Roswitha, and attributed as ‘the mighty voice’ or the ‘Nightingale of Gandersheim’). Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim was a 10th-century German secular canoness, as well as a dramatist and poet who lived and worked at…
The Ambitions of Jane Franklin

The Ambitions of Jane Franklin

Lady Jane Franklin (1791-1875) On December 4, 1791, Lady Jane Franklin, Tasmanian pioneer, traveler and second wife of the explorer 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. Jane Franklin was born as Jane Griffin,…
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