Saturday, March 10, 2012

Science Saturday: Women Scientists Edition Part I

Since March is Women's History Month (and this past March 8th was International Women's Day), I decided that the next couple of SciSat posts would feature a few historical women scientists who made an impact on the scientific community in their fields.  There are many more that won't get featured here, but it is inspiring to hear the stories of these brilliant women.

Caroline Herschel (1750-1848)


The sister of William Herschel (discoverer of Uranus), this German-British astronomer discovered several comets using a 27-inch focal length Newtonian telescope.  She also assisted her brother in indexing a star catalogue, as well as a catalogue of nebulae, for which she was awarded a gold medal from the Astronomical Society of London.

Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)

Rosalind Franklin was a biophysicist who worked with X-ray crystallography, a method of determining atomical arrangement of a crystal structure (including salts and minerals, as well as biological molecules).  It was her x-ray diffraction images of DNA that helped Watson and Crick determine the double helical structure of DNA.  They went on to win the Nobel Prize, though Rosalind remained unrecognized.  She also contributed to work with the plant toboacco mosaic virus as well as polio virus.

1 comment:

  1. There are so many amazing women out there, who have done spectacular things, making our world a wonderful place to live! I am glad that women are being recognized for their impact on the lives of all humanity. I am proud to be a woman!! Thank you for featuring women of science! One of these days, you will be one of those being featured, may you always be recognized for your endeavors!

    Lily-Thinking Thoughts