Home > Positive Actions, Role Models > Let’s All Have A Party!

Let’s All Have A Party!

SuzyQueue is a frequent commenter on this blog and usually has something interesting to say. I just had to promote one of her latest comments to a blog post:

I have made it a point to celebrate each ‘first’ woman elected to membership in the engineering professional societies by ordering a cake and having a party in the student commons area. I read a short biography of the woman whose birthday we are celebrating.
I do celebrate other birthdays and since I am buying the cake, I get to decide the event, whether it be a person’s, building’s, or event’s birthday. I celebrate Chuck Yeager’s birthday as he was a pioneer but not able to become an astronaut since he did not have a college degree. This fact stuns the students. How could he have been discriminated against? I also give a short summary of the women astronauts who trained as well during that party.

Is that not an awesome idea or what? What a wonderful tradition to start! And so simple and (relatively) inexpensive to implement.
SuzyQueue, if you are reading this, would you be willing to share with us the women/professional societies on your celebration list? And maybe others could add to it, from the science honor societies. It would be wonderful to imagine simultaneous celebrations going on around the country, in departments, labs, SWE and AWIS sections…candles flickering across the land. And lots and lots of cake being eaten by happy young women who are learning something about their foremothers.
Yes, Zuska looks upon this idea and pronounces: Make it so.
Obviously I am thinking of the U.S. here but clearly this is an idea that doesn’t stop at national borders. Canadian women: who are your national heroines whose birthdays could be celebrated? I am not as familiar with the system of professional societies outside the U.S. If celebrating women’s entry into professional societies is not something that makes sense, then celebrate something else: the birthday of the first woman professor in a science or engineering department at your university, or the first woman in EVERY department at your university. Who are these local “firsts”?
I have found, in the past, that in trying to research this kind of information (if it is not readily available) that librarians are tremendously helpful and a wonderful font of knowledge. Do not hesitate to call on them for help in learning about your local historical women. You’d be surprised at what’s lying there in their archives, and in what they can help you dig up.

  1. December 4, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    Some dates to mark in December:
    December 3: Ellen Swallow Richards (US, 1842-1911) — first woman admitted to MIT, chemist
    December 11: Annie Jump Cannon (US, 1863-1941) — astronomer at Harvard College Observatory
    December 31: Daphne Oram (England, 1925-2003) — sound engineer, first director of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (beginning in 1958)
    Other dates I have handy–plenty of parties:
    January 15: Sofya Kovalevsky (Russia, 1850-1891) — mathematician, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Science
    January 19: Alice Eastwood (US, 1859-1953) — botanist, longtime curator of the herbarium at the California Academy of Sciences; president of the VIIth International Botanical Congress
    January 23: Gertrude Elion (US, 1918-1999) — medical researcher, held 45 patents; Nobel in Medicine, 1988 for work on immunosuppression
    February 16: Constance Tipper (England, 1894-1995) — metallurgist, engineer; devised the Tipper Test for determining the brittleness of steel in extreme conditions
    March 17: Cornelia Clapp (US, 1849-1934) — zoologist, first woman elected to the board of the Marine Biology Laboratory at Woods Hole; organized zoology dept. at Mt. Holyoke
    March 18: Agnes Sime Baxter (Canada, 1870-1917) — second Canadian woman to earn a PhD in mathematics
    March 31: Sheila Sherlock (England, 1918-2001) — hepatologist, youngest woman to be elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (1952)
    April 1: Sophie Germain (France, 1776-1831) — mathematician, first woman to attend Royal Academy of Sciences meetings in her own right
    April 2: Maria Sibylla Merian (Germany/Holland, 1647-1717) — entomologist, botanical illustrator–published an early description of the butterfly’s life cycle, collected samples in Surinam
    April 5: Hattie Alexander (1901-1965) — bacteriologist, medical researcher, first woman to be elected president
    of the American Pediatric Society (1964)
    April 15: May Edward Chinn (US, 1896-1980) — African-American physician and cancer researcher
    April 26: Margaret Gowring (England, 1921-1998) — historian of science at Oxford, collected significant archives in the 20th century development of atomic energy
    May 12: Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (England, 1910-1994) — chemist, first British woman scientist to win a Nobel (1964)
    May 16: Maria Gaetana Agnesi (Italy, 1718-1799) — mathematician, elected to the Bologna Academy of Sciences
    May 24: Ynes Mexia (US, 1870-1938) — botanist for the California Academy of Sciences; discovered hundreds of new species, and is credited with discovering two genera as well
    June 16: Barbara McClintock (US, 1902-1992) — botanist, geneticist; Nobel in Medicine 1983
    June 28: Maria Goeppert Mayer (Germany, 1906-1972) — shared 1963 Nobel in Physics for work on nuclear shell structure and magic number theory
    July 4: Henrietta Swan Leavitt (US, 1868-1921) — astronomer at the Harvard College Observatory
    July 9: Mathilde Krim (Swiss/Israel/US, b. 1926) –cancer researcher, founder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR)
    July 14: Florence Bascom (US, 1862-1945) — first woman geologist hired by the US Geological Survey (1896)
    July 19: Rosalyn Yalow (US, b. 1921) — physicist, won Nobel in Medicine in 1977, for development of radioimmunoassay technique
    August 15: Gerty Cori (Czech/US, 1896-1957) — biochemist, first woman to win the Nobel in Medicine
    August 30: Sylvia Earle (US, b. 1935) — marine biologist, founded her own company, Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, which designs and operates deep-sea exploration systems.
    September 1: Edith Berkeley (South Africa/Canada, 1875-1963) — marine biologist, expert on polychaetes, worked at Pacific Biological Station at Nanaimo
    October 5: Elda Emma Anderson (US, 1899-1961) — physicist, credited with being the first person to prepare a sample of nearly pure Uranium-235; wrote _Manual of Radiological Protection for Civil Defense_ (1950)
    November 9: Florence Rena Sabin (US, 1871-1953) — first woman on the faculty at Johns Hopkins’ medical school (1903), first woman president of the American Association of Anatomists (1924)

  2. December 4, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    September 12th, birthday of Irene Joliot-Curie, Nobel laureate in physics.
    I celebrate it every year.

  3. December 4, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    Did I say Physics? I meant Chemistry, of course.

  4. December 4, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    A few more:
    April 21: Jenny Kidd Trout (Scotland/Canada, 1841-1921) physician — first Canadian woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada
    May 15: Williamina Paton Fleming (Scotland/US, 1857-1911) — astronomer, Harvard College Observatory; the person who discovered “white dwarfs”
    June 5: Elena Lucrezia Cornaro-Piscopia (Venice, 1646-1684) — polymath, considered the first woman to earn a university degree as it’s known in the West; she lectured on mathematics and composed music
    June 7: Virginia Apgar (US, 1909-1974) — anesthesiologist who devised the Apgar Score for evaluating newborns for distress
    June 17: Susan LaFlesche Picotte (US, 1865-1915) — physician and public health advocate, first Native American woman to earn an MD
    September 24: Charlotte Moore Sitterly (US, 1898-1990) — astronomer specializing in spectroscopy at the Naval Research Laboratory and the National Bureau of Standards
    October 8: Emily Blackwell (US 1826-1910) — physician, third American woman to earn an MD (her sister Elizabeth Blackwell , 1821-1910, was the first)– professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Women’s Medical College
    October 21: Elsie May Widdowson (England, 1906-2000) — biochemist, studied nutritional content of foods and devised diets for optimal health under wartime restrictions

  5. anonyma
    December 5, 2006 at 8:47 am

    March 23: Amalie (known as Emmy) Noether (Germany, 1882-1935). Mathematician, author of Noether’s theorem (a key result in mathematical physics), a key figure in the development of algebra.

  6. Dave Godfrey
    December 5, 2006 at 9:54 am

    A few from the other side of the pond…
    24th January- Marjory Stephenson MBE. Biochemist (1885-1948). Joint first woman elected a fellow of the Royal Society- 1945. Co-founder of the Society of General Microbiology- 1945. Second President of the SGM- 1947
    28th January- Dame Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale. Crystallographer (1903-1971). Joint first woman elected a Fellow of the Royal Society- 1945. First woman professor at University College London- 1949. First woman president of the International Union of Crystallography- 1966. First woman president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science- 1967.
    28th April- Hertha Marks Ayrton Mathematician & Physicist(1834-1923) First woman elected to Institution of Electrial Engineers- 1899. First woman nominated as a Fellow of the Royal Society- 1902. First woman to read a paper to the Royal Society- 1904.
    30th April- Dame Maria Ogilvie Gordon- Geologist (1864-1939) First woman awarded a PhD in Geology. First woman to win the Lyell Medal (given by the Geological Society)- 1932.

  7. December 9, 2006 at 11:33 am

    Posting this on the centenary of Grace Murray Hopper, born 9 December 1906. Math PhD from Yale in 1934, taught at Vassar till she joined the Naval Reserve during WWII and became a computer programmer. She’s credited with overseeing the development of COBOL.
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/LRIDDLE/WOMEN/hopper.htm

  8. December 9, 2006 at 11:33 am

    Posting this on the centenary of Grace Murray Hopper, born 9 December 1906. Math PhD from Yale in 1934, taught at Vassar till she joined the Naval Reserve during WWII and became a computer programmer. She’s credited with overseeing the development of COBOL.
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/LRIDDLE/WOMEN/hopper.htm

  9. December 11, 2006 at 10:09 am

    We’re celebrating the birthday of Annie Jump Cannon today at DS,TU…
    http://disstud.blogspot.com/2006/12/december-11-annie-jump-cannon-1863.html

  10. January 14, 2007 at 1:03 am

    January 14 (as I type) is the birthday of botanist/geneticist Carrie Matilda Derick (1862-1941), the first woman appointed to a full professorship at a Canadian university. Her story is full of the pain and struggle of being the “first woman” over and over and over… and it’s probably no wonder she worked for women’s rights, including suffrage and birth control, beyond her academic work:
    http://www.mta.ca/faculty/arts/canadian_studies/english/about/study_guide/famous_women/carrie_derrick.html

  11. January 14, 2007 at 1:25 am

    And one more born on January 14: Ninetta May Runnals (1885-1980) was a math professor at Colby College in Maine; she was also Dean of Women. On her watch she added a women’s infirmary with a full-time nurse, and organized a Women’s Health League to encourage physical fitness in women students. A building on Colby’s campus is named for Runnals.
    http://www.colby.edu/education/activism/stories/runnals.html

  12. Penny
    January 23, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Today, as I type (January 23rd) is the birthday of Gertrude Elion (1918-1999), mentioned above–she won the Nobel in Medicine and held 45 patents.
    Tomorrow (January 24th) is the birthday a less famous medical researcher who was about the same generation as Elion: Virginia Minnich (1910-1996) was a hematologist:
    http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/mowihsp/bios/minnich.htm
    She was only able to attend college during the Depression because her older sister lent her the money–yeah for older sisters.

  13. February 10, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Light the candles on another cake: February 10, 1883, engineer Edith Clarke was born in Ellicott City, MD. She earned the first masters in EE granted to a woman at MIT (1919), was the first woman to present a paper at IEEE (in the 1920s, when it was called AIEE), and in 1948 she was the first woman elected a fellow of the AIEE. She was also the first woman to teach engineering at University of Texas-Austin. More:
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/LRiddle/women/clarke.htm

  14. February 27, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Okay, another cake, but be careful about what dyes you use for the frosting: today (February 27) is the birthday of Alice Hamilton (1869-1970), first woman on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, a pioneer in industrial medicine and occupational health:
    http://www.chemheritage.org/classroom/chemach/environment/hamilton.html

  15. February 27, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Okay, another cake, but be careful about what dyes you use for the frosting: today (February 27) is the birthday of Alice Hamilton (1869-1970), first woman on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, a pioneer in industrial medicine and occupational health:
    http://www.chemheritage.org/classroom/chemach/environment/hamilton.html

  16. March 7, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    A birthday for March 7: Russian mathematician Olga Alexandrovna Ladyzhenskaya (1922-2004):
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/Lriddle/WOMEN/ladyzhen.htm

  17. March 11, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    March 12: This isn’t just a birthday–it’s a 100th birthday! Yale astronomer Dorrit Hoffleit is turning 100 this week:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorrit_Hoffleit
    As recently as 2003, she was still going in to her Yale office daily, to work on several projects of her own.
    http://www.aavso.org/news/dorrittimes.shtml
    http://www.womanastronomer.com/dhoffleit.htm
    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/04-97/04-19-97/b02li086.htm

  18. March 27, 2007 at 2:25 am

    March 27th is a good one–birthday of Elsie Gregory MacGill, first Canadian woman to earn a degree in electrical engineering (Toronto 1927), first North American woman to earn a masters in aeronautical engineering (University of Michigan 1929). During the 1930s, she became the first woman aircraft designer in the world; during WWII, she was in charge of production of the Hawker Hurricane, a British fighter plane manufactured in Ontario. After the war she set up an aeronautics consulting business. She was also a polio survivor and a strong advocate for women’s rights.
    http://www.collectionscanada.ca/women/002026-409-e.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsie_MacGill

  19. April 24, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    April 24 (today, as I type) is the birthday of Catherine Alice Raisin (1855-1945), first woman to head a geology department in any British institution. She became head of the geology department at the Bedford College in 1890 and held that role for 30 years; she also briefly headed the botany department, too. She was the first woman to win funding from the Lyell Fund of the Royal Geological Society of London–but she couldn’t attend the meeting to accept the award, as women were still barred from the organization’s meetings in 1893.
    Cynthia V. Burek, “Catherine Raisin: A Role-Model Professional Geologist,” _Geology Today_ 19(3)(May 2003): 107-110.

  20. May 5, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Today is the 84th birthday of mathematician Cathleen Synge Morawetz, born on this date in 1923, in Toronto:
    http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Morawetz.html
    She was the second woman president of the American Mathematical Society (1995-1997).

  21. May 13, 2007 at 12:12 am

    May 13th marks the birthday of Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann (1888-1993), who was the first woman awarded the Bowie Medal by the American Geophysical Union (in 1971), for her work on the composition of the earth’s core. In 1997, the AGS established an Inge Lehmann Medal in her honor.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inge_Lehmann

  22. May 29, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Today (May 29) is one of the listed birthdays for physicist Chien-shiung Wu (1912-1997), the first woman elected president of the American Physical Society.
    http://www.greatwomen.org/women.php?action=viewone&id=174
    http://physics.nist.gov/GenInt/Parity/people/Wu.html

  23. June 8, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    English mathematician Charlotte Angas Scott was born on this date (June 8) in 1858. She taught at Bryn Mawr, and was the first woman to serve on the Council of the American Mathematical Society:
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/scott.htm

  24. July 15, 2007 at 8:26 am

    For July 15, add a cupcake for Irish astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell (b. 1943):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jocelyn_Bell_Burnell

  25. July 15, 2007 at 8:26 am

    For July 15, add a cupcake for Irish astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell (b. 1943):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jocelyn_Bell_Burnell

  26. July 17, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    For July 17, maybe a layer cake, for English geologist Ethel Wood Shakespear (1871-1946): she was one of the authors of the definitive work on British Graptolites, and a fellow of the Geological Society from 1919:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethel_Shakespear

  27. July 22, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    Two American women born July 23:
    Harriet Williams Strong (1844-1929)–probably best labeled an agricultural engineer–she devised an original and effective irrigation system for her Northern California walnut, olive, and pomegranate farms, held a number of patents for water conservation systems. She also worked for suffrage and women’s education
    http://www.greatwomen.org/women.php?action=viewone&id=193
    Emma Perry Carr (1880-1972)–longtime chemistry professor at Mount Holyoke; head of the department from 1913 until her retirement in 1946; she did ultraviolet spectroscopy studies. She also played organ and cello.
    http://www.csupomona.edu/~nova/scientists/articles/carr.html
    So, two candles–or two cakes, if you like!

  28. August 1, 2007 at 5:31 am

    By the way, has anyone put these dates onto a Google calendar so we can all keep track? If not, I volunteer to!

  29. August 1, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    I haven’t done, Miss Prism, but you’re absolutely welcome to!
    For August 1, two astronomers! Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) and Helen Sawyer Hogg (1905-1993)–both born in Massachusetts, a generation apart. Helen studied variable stars in globular clusters, spending much of her career in Canada; Maria Mitchell was on the faculty at Vassar, and was the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848 and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1850.
    http://www.astro.utoronto.ca/hsh/hshrasc.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Mitchell

  30. August 5, 2007 at 11:55 am

    For August 5: Lucy Everest Boole (1862-1904), born on this date in Cork, Ireland. She was one of the five remarkable daughters of mathematician George Boole (1815-1864), familiar as the namesake of the adjective “Boolean”. But as the dates indicate, she didn’t really know George; she was raised by her mother, Mary Everest Boole (1832-1916), who published on the logic of arithmetic and other subjects.
    Lucy Everest Boole was a chemist, “the first woman in Britain to formally undertake research in pharmaceutical chemistry. Her procedure for analysis of tartar emetic …became the official method of assay, retained until 1963,” according to her entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/38817/61612?docPos=9

  31. August 14, 2007 at 1:32 am

    For August 14: Irish-born astronomer Lady Margaret Lindsay Murray Huggins (1848-1915); she and her husband William Huggins did spectroscopy and early astronomical photography at the Tulse Hill observatory in London. She was a member of the British Astronomical Association from 1890, and an honorary fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. She made important donations to Wellesley College late in life.
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/46443
    http://www.astr.ua.edu/4000WS/HUGGINS.html
    http://eee.uci.edu/clients/bjbecker/ExploringtheCosmos/week7b.html

  32. August 14, 2007 at 4:34 am

    I’ve been trying to make a calendar of these for people to use or download, but (grr) Google Calendars has been playing up. I’ll let you know when I get it working.

  33. August 14, 2007 at 4:34 am

    I’ve been trying to make a calendar of these for people to use or download, but (grr) Google Calendars has been playing up. I’ll let you know when I get it working.

  34. August 31, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    August 31: Light a candle and have some cake, it’s Mary Putnam Jacobi’s birthday:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Jacobi
    Mary Putnam Jacobi (1842-1906), physician, was the first woman member of the New York Academy of Medicine, founder and longtime president of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Education for Women. Her best known essay,”The Question of Rest for Women during Menstruation” (1876) won the Boylston Prize at Harvard and refuted the prevailing wisdom of the day, that menstruating women needed to be treated as ill and delicate. Another notable essay of hers probably needs no explanation beyond its title: “Description of the Early Symptoms of the Meningeal Tumor Compressing the Cerebellum. From Which the Writer Died. Written by Herself.”

  35. September 1, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    September 1: Another woman with a bunch of firsts in her bio: American naturalist Anna Botsford Comstock (1854-1930), was in the first group of women admitted to the science honor society Sigma Xi, and she was the first woman professor at Cornell (though not the first to be granted tenure). She wrote, co-wrote, and/or illustrated books, articles, and reports on insects, including for her husband’s 1888 textbook, _Introduction to Entomology_. One of her books, _The Handbook of Nature Study_ (1911), was a standard teachers’ text through many printings, and was translated into eight languages.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Botsford_Comstock

  36. September 1, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Addendum to above: There’s an Anna Comstock doll being marketed with a children’s biography of her, a small magnifying glass, and a field notebook… how many other women in this comments thread have been depicted in doll form, I wonder?
    http://store.girls-explore.com/anncodoset.html

  37. September 15, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    September 16 is the birthday of German-Canadian metallurgist Ursula Martius Franklin (b. 1921).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ursula_Franklin

  38. September 16, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    I have a special fondness for Ursula Franklin…she appears in a wonderful video about women scientists titled “Asking Different Questions” which I highly recommend, if you ever get a chance to see it.

  39. September 22, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Born 22 September 1829: Emeline Horton Cleveland was chair of obstetrics at Woman’s Medical Hospital, and one of the first women surgeons in the US to perform major abdominal surgeries–but she was excluded from the Philadelphia Obstetrical Society on the basis of her sex. (They still published one of her papers in their journal, though.)
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/physicians/biography_64.html

  40. September 22, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    23 September was the birthday of Daphne Frances Jackson (1936-1991), an English nuclear physicist. She was the first woman in the UK to be a professor of physics and head of a physics department (in 1971, at the University of Surrey). Later, she also served as dean of the faculty of science (1984-88).
    She was also noted for her efforts to improve math and science education for girls and women. According to the Oxford DNB, “she conceived and launched the Women Returners’ Fellowship scheme for women who had had to give up careers in science or engineering because of family commitments.”
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/49834?docPos=10

  41. September 22, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    23 September was the birthday of Daphne Frances Jackson (1936-1991), an English nuclear physicist. She was the first woman in the UK to be a professor of physics and head of a physics department (in 1971, at the University of Surrey). Later, she also served as dean of the faculty of science (1984-88).
    She was also noted for her efforts to improve math and science education for girls and women. According to the Oxford DNB, “she conceived and launched the Women Returners’ Fellowship scheme for women who had had to give up careers in science or engineering because of family commitments.”
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/49834?docPos=10

  42. September 26, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    26 September was the birthday of English chemist and entomologist Edna Ferrel Haskins (1911-2000). She worked on alkalimetal hydrides and ant biology (not simultaneously, I’m guessing). During WWII, she was the first woman to be appointed Inspector of Factories in the Ministry of Labor and National Service. There’s a biography with a lovely photo of her working in a lab here:
    http://www.haskins.yale.edu/staff/efh.html

  43. September 30, 2007 at 10:52 am

    September 30 was the birthday of Scottish protozoologist Doris Livingstone Mackinnon (1883-1956). She studied amoebic dysentery at military hospitals during World War I, and published about forty papers on parasitic protozoa. She also translated scientific papers from German. Mackinnon, who was considered a gifted lecturer and an attentive advisor, held professor rank at Kings College, University of London, from 1927 until her retirement in 1949.

  44. September 30, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Link to Mackinnon’s biography in the Oxford DNB:
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/51768?_fromAuth=1

  45. October 4, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    October 4 was the birthdate of English epidemiologist Alice Mary Stewart (1906-2002), who established that fetal exposure to x-rays increases risk of childhood leukemia:
    http://education.guardian.co.uk/obituary/story/0,,750050,00.html
    So if you’ve ever been asked “Is there any chance you could be pregnant?” before an x-ray, think of Alice Mary Stewart.

  46. October 6, 2007 at 9:41 am

    It’s another centennial! On this date in 1907, pioneering geneticist Salome Gluecksohn-Waelsch was born in Danzig. She finished her doctorate in biology in 1932, but had to leave Germany within the year with her first husband. In 1936, she was hired as a research associate at Columbia University. She was still a “research associate” 19 years later, when she was finally given a faculty appointment in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
    At Einstein, she headed the genetics department, and developed one of the first genetics courses taught at an American medical school. Waelsch held one of the longest continuously-running grants ever awarded by the American Cancer Society. She was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1993, and is a fellow of many distinguished academies.
    As far as I can tell, she’s still alive–still listed as Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the molecular genetics department website–so celebrate the 100th birthday of Dr. Gluecksohn-Waelsch today.
    http://www.genetics.org/cgi/content/full/154/1/1

  47. October 7, 2007 at 11:15 am

    October 7 was the birthday of American ichthyologist Rosa Smith Eigenmann (1858-1947). She seems not to have ever had earnd a college degree, nor any paid university position. She was an independent scholar who published more than a dozen scientific papers under her maiden name; then after marriage, she collaborated with her husband Carl, who became Chair of the Zoology Department and Dean of the Graduate School at Indiana. She wrote, “In science as everywhere else in the domain of thought, woman should be judged by the same standard as her brother. Her work must not simply be well done for a woman.”
    http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/eigenmann.html
    http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/eigenmann.html

  48. October 15, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    October 15 was the birthday of American-born French neuroscientist Auguste Marie Dejerine-Klumpke (1859-1927). She was one of the first women in France to do a hospital internship during her medical training, and she was the first woman admitted to the membership of the Societe de Biologie (in 1923). She did research on spinal cord injuries during World War I, and a form of forearm paralysis is named Dejerine-Klumpke’s paralysis after her. Her daughter was also a scientist.
    http://www.uic.edu/depts/mcne/founders/page0021.html
    Klumpke was one of a set of illustrious sisters: her sister Dorothea was a Paris-trained astronomer, sister Anna was an artist associated with Rosa Bonheur, and two other sisters were violinists. Their only brother was an engineer.

  49. October 19, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    October 19 was the birthday of French physicist Marguerite Perey (1909-1975), who discovered the element francium, and who is credited as the first woman elected to the French Academie des Sciences:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marguerite_Perey

  50. October 22, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    October 22 was the birthday of Lulu Latsky (1901-1980), the first woman in South Africa to earn a doctorate in science (DSc in Zoology, 1931?). She wrote over 70 books, in Afrikaans, many of them children’s books about animals.
    http://www.stellenboschwriters.com/latskyl.html

  51. October 28, 2007 at 10:05 am

    October 28 was the birthday of Katharine (Kate) Curran Brandegee (1844-1920), American botanist. She was born in Tennesee, but was raised and lived most of her life in California. She earned an MD at the University of California in 1878. But her career wasn’t in medicine: instead, she was curator of the herbarium at the California Academy of Sciences, 1883-1894, and continued collecting and study in San Diego, 1894-1906.
    Kate and her second husband Townshend Stith Brandegee spent their 1889 honeymoon walking from San Diego to San Francisco, collecting botanical samples. In 1906 donated their own extensive collections to the Berkeley Herbarium and library.
    http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Katharine_Brandegee

  52. October 30, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    October 31 was the birthday of Laura Maria Catarina Bassi (1711-1778), a Bolognese scientist, credited as the first woman to teach (officially, for money) at a college in Europe. She was appointed a professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna in 1732–at the age of 20. She married a fellow scientist and had at least eight children; while raising her children, the University let her teach from home, and even gave her funding to buy her own experimental equipment. She published more than two dozen scientific papers, on hydraulics, mechanics, mathematics, and other topics. At the age of 65, she was hired to chair a physics department.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Bassi
    http://hypatiamaze.org/laura/bassi.html

  53. October 30, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    October 31 was the birthday of Laura Maria Catarina Bassi (1711-1778), a Bolognese scientist, credited as the first woman to teach (officially, for money) at a college in Europe. She was appointed a professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna in 1732–at the age of 20. She married a fellow scientist and had at least eight children; while raising her children, the University let her teach from home, and even gave her funding to buy her own experimental equipment. She published more than two dozen scientific papers, on hydraulics, mechanics, mathematics, and other topics. At the age of 65, she was hired to chair a physics department.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Bassi
    http://hypatiamaze.org/laura/bassi.html

  54. November 5, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    November 5: Though she’s better known as an environmental activist and ecofeminist, Vandana Shiva (born on this date in 1952 in Dehradun) has a PhD in Physics, earned in 1978 at the University of Western Ontario. “I loved physics from an age when I didnt even know what the content was but I knew I wanted to figure out how nature works,” she explained to an interviewer:
    http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/global/vshiva4_int.html#Anchor-From-18744

  55. November 7, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    The first African-American woman neurosurgeon, Alexa Canady, was born November 7, 1950, in Lansing, Michigan.
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/physicians/biography_53.html
    She started out as a math major in college, but earned a BS in zoology; and she went to the University of Michigan Medical School from there.

  56. November 12, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Two birthdays for November 13: Harvard physicist (and MacArthur Fellow) Lene Vestergaard-Hau was born on this date in 1959, in Vejle, Denmark:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lene_Hau
    So she’s turning 48 today.
    And much longer ago, the woman credited as Germany’s first woman physician, Dorothea Erxleben, was born on this date in 1715, in Quedlinburg.
    http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi483.htm
    As a champion of women’s higher education, she published a pamphlet titled “Inquiry into the Causes Preventing the Female Sex from Studying”–and her father wrote the introduction. Though she wasn’t admitted to medical school, she studied with her brother (who was), and wrote a dissertation on her own–while raising her four young children, btw. She was granted a medical degree by the University of Halle in 1754.

  57. November 14, 2007 at 10:53 am


    Gabrielle Emilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise Du Chatelet

    b. December 17, 1706
    First woman to be published by the Academie Royale des Sciences; first woman to take part in a public, scientific debate with a man; first person, period, to translate Newton’s Principia into French (her translation is said to still be the standard).

  58. November 26, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    It’s another centennial today: Ruth Patrick, born 26 November 1907, is still seen five days a week in her office at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where she’s worked since 1933–she’s a pioneer in freshwater ecology, and the twelfth woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Happy 100th birthday to Ruth Patrick:
    http://www.ansp.org/research/pcer/rp/biography.php

  59. December 1, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    December 1 was the birthday of American mathematician and scientist Christine Ladd-Franklin (1847-1930). She was the first woman admitted for graduate study at Johns Hopkins University, where she completed the requirements for a PhD…which wasn’t actually granted until 44 years later. She taught at Johns Hopkins and Columbia, Clark, Harvard, and the University of Chicago, but usually without a paying appointment. In her work, she’s best know for her elaborate color theory, which combined optics, psychology, and photochemistry.
    http://innovators.vassar.edu/innovator.html?id=78
    http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/christineladd.html
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/ladd.htm

  60. December 1, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    December 1 was the birthday of American mathematician and scientist Christine Ladd-Franklin (1847-1930). She was the first woman admitted for graduate study at Johns Hopkins University, where she completed the requirements for a PhD…which wasn’t actually granted until 44 years later. She taught at Johns Hopkins and Columbia, Clark, Harvard, and the University of Chicago, but usually without a paying appointment. In her work, she’s best know for her elaborate color theory, which combined optics, psychology, and photochemistry.
    http://innovators.vassar.edu/innovator.html?id=78
    http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/christineladd.html
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/ladd.htm

  61. December 30, 2007 at 9:40 am

    December 30 was the birthday of American zoologist/marine biologist Katharine Jeannette Bush (1855-1937), born in Scranton PA. Here’s the passage about her career on p. 58 in _Women Scientists In America: Struggles and Strategies to 1940_:
    “In 1879 Addison Emery Verrill, a zoologist at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, hired Katharine Jeannette Bush (plate 9) as an assistant. Although not a college graduate, Bush later enrolled in Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School as a ‘special student,’ and in 1901 she became the first woman to earn a Yale doctorate in zoology. But there is no sign that the degree made much difference in her job situation. Although she worked at the Peabody museum until 1913, she may have been paid for only twelve of these thirty-four years, and then by the federal government: by the Fish Commission in the 1880s, when she reported on the various mollusks dredged by the commission’s vessels, and by the US National Museum in the 1890s, when she reported on some of its collections. In time she published at least nineteen articles on marine invertebrates and was the best known woman in Yale’s zoological circle at the turn of the century. Also there were two of her sisters: one, a librarian at the Peabody Museum, worked as an assistant to paleontologist O. C. Marsh, and the other was married to Wesley Coe, professor of zoology.”
    from Margaret W. Rossiter, _Women Scientists in America_ (Johns Hopkins UP 1982): 58.

  62. January 4, 2008 at 10:30 am

    January 4 was the birthday of Dutch mycologist Johanna Westerdijk (1883-1961). She earned a PhD in Zurich, and became the Netherlands’ first female university professor in 1917, at the State University of Utrecht. She directed the Willie Commelin Scholten Phytopathological Institute in Amsterdam, and in 1932 was president of the International Federation of University Women. Westerdijk welcomed and encouraged women as doctoral students.
    http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.py.24.090186.000341
    Oh, and if your campus is plagued by Dutch elm disease–she and other Dutch women plant pathologists were the pioneers in studying this fungus:
    http://www.shopapspress.org/41108.html

  63. January 6, 2008 at 11:16 am

    January 6 was the birthday of English bacteriologist and nutrition scientist Harriette Chick (1875-1977–yes, she lived to be 102). She was the first woman on staff at the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine when she joined in 1905. Through two world wars, she worked on the chemistry of preventing malnutrition and its related diseases in military and civilian populations. She was also the co-inventor of the Chick-Martin test for estimating the strength of disinfectant agents.
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/30924?docPos=15

  64. January 10, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    January 10 was the birthday of German mathematician Ruth Moufang (1905-1977). Her doctoral work was in projective geometry. During the Nazi regime, she wasn’t allowed (as a woman) to teach at universities, so she “became the first German woman with a doctorate to be employed as an industrial mathematician when she went to work for the Krupps Research Institute in the fall of 1937. In 1946 she was finally able to accept a teaching position at the University of Frankfurt where, in 1957, she became the first woman in Germany to be appointed as a full professor.” Quoted section from:
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/moufang.htm

  65. January 13, 2008 at 11:05 am

    January 13 was the birthday of American statistician Gertrude Mary Cox (1900-1978). She earned the very first masters degree in statistics granted at Iowa State; was on faculty at North Carolina State (1940-1960), where she established the Department of Experimental Statistics and the Institute of Statistics; co-wrote a standard textbook, _Experimental Design_ (1950), and was first head of the Statistics Research Division at the Research Triangle Institute. In 1949, she became the first woman elected to the International Statistical Institute. She was co-founder of the Biometric Society and its president in the late 1960s.
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle/women/cox.htm

  66. January 27, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Penny, you never run out! I’ve updated the google calendar with all your suggestions. It’s public and is called ‘Zuskateer Parties’.

  67. February 12, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Still haven’t run out, Miss Prism! Thanks for the calendaring.
    February 12 is the birthday of German-born Australian mathematician Hanna Neumann (1914-1971)–who wrote her thesis at Oxford during WWII, while living in a van with two children and one on the way–apparently she set up a cardtable outdoors to type when the weather permitted. Four of her five children went on to earn degrees in mathematics:
    http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/aasmemoirs/neumann.htm

  68. February 14, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    February 14 is the birthday of German scientist Agnes Pockels (1862-1935). She stopped school at 15, to care for her parents, while her younger brother continued through university to become a physics professor. Agnes borrowed Friedrich’s textbooks to study, but found she was more of an experimentalist: at the kitchen sink, while washing, she studied surface tension in contaminated liquids. She assembled an apparatus, called a Pockels trough, from buttons, thread, and food containers, to measure the surface tension. From notes she kept, she published her first paper in _Nature_ in 1891. (Fifteen more research papers would follow.) Late in life, her contributions were recognized with a 1931 award from the German Colloid Society, and an honorary doctorate from the nearby technical university.
    “I had already developed a passionate interest in the natural sciences, especially in physics, and would have liked to become a student, but at that time women were not accepted for higher education and later on, when they started to be accepted, my parents nevertheless asked me not to do so.”
    http://home.physics.ucla.edu/~cwp/articles/pockels/pockels.html

  69. February 17, 2008 at 11:59 am

    February 17 was the birthday of Hungarian mathematician Rozsa Peter (1905-1977), the first woman in Hungary to achieve the rank of Academic Doctor of Mathematics (1952). Her book _Playing with Infinity_ was originally written during WWII, when she was banned from teaching–in the preface, she writes:
    “The book is addressed to intellectual people with non-mathematical interest: to people of literature, arts, and humanity. I have received plenty of beautiful things from that side, and now, in return, I present Mathematics. Let them see: we are not that far away from each other. I do not just like Mathematics, because it can be used in technology, but mostly because it is beautiful.”
    It’s been translated into many languages and is still in print today. Peter’s research was on recursive function theory, and her last book was _Recursive Functions in Computer Theory_ (1976).
    http://www.dcs.qmul.ac.uk/~uhmm/women/history.html
    http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/peter.html
    Edie Morris and Leon Harkleroad, “Rozsa Peter: Recursive Function Theory’s Founding Mother,” _Mathematical Intelligencer_ 12(1)(1990).

  70. February 17, 2008 at 11:59 am

    February 17 was the birthday of Hungarian mathematician Rozsa Peter (1905-1977), the first woman in Hungary to achieve the rank of Academic Doctor of Mathematics (1952). Her book _Playing with Infinity_ was originally written during WWII, when she was banned from teaching–in the preface, she writes:
    “The book is addressed to intellectual people with non-mathematical interest: to people of literature, arts, and humanity. I have received plenty of beautiful things from that side, and now, in return, I present Mathematics. Let them see: we are not that far away from each other. I do not just like Mathematics, because it can be used in technology, but mostly because it is beautiful.”
    It’s been translated into many languages and is still in print today. Peter’s research was on recursive function theory, and her last book was _Recursive Functions in Computer Theory_ (1976).
    http://www.dcs.qmul.ac.uk/~uhmm/women/history.html
    http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/peter.html
    Edie Morris and Leon Harkleroad, “Rozsa Peter: Recursive Function Theory’s Founding Mother,” _Mathematical Intelligencer_ 12(1)(1990).

  71. February 25, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    February 25 was the birthday of German chemist Ida Tacke Noddack (1896-1978), who co-discovered element 75, Rhenium, in 1925, with her husband-to-be, Walter Noddack. In 1934, she published an article that proposed the concept of nuclear fission, saying “”When heavy nuclei are bombarded by neutrons, it would be reasonable to conceive that they break down into numerous large fragments which are isotopes of known elements but are not neighbors of the bombarded elements.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ida_Noddack
    http://www.hypatiamaze.org/ida/tacke.html
    See also:
    Marelene F. Rayner-Canham, _A Devotion to their Science: Pioneer Women of Radioactivity_ (McGill-Queen’s UP 1997).

  72. March 4, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    March 5 is the birthday of American mathematician Vera Pless, born on this date in 1931, in Chicago, the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants. She defended her doctoral thesis at Northwestern two weeks before the birth of her first child in 1957. When her second child started school, she found work with the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory in 1963, where she became one of the “world’s experts on coding theory.” She later taught at MIT, before being appointed full professor at the University of Chicago in 1975. “While I consider myself a pure mathematician, some very interesting questions I’ve worked on have been posed by individuals who have been interested in applications.” Happy 77th birthday, Vera Pless!
    http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Pless.html

  73. March 5, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Whoops, correction–Vera Pless is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, not the University of Chicago. Sorry about that.

  74. March 13, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Re-updated!
    Google Calendar here, iCal here.

  75. March 13, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    March 13 is the birthday of Australian biochemist Jean Youatt, born on this date in 1925 in China (to missionary parents from Australia and the UK). She studied isoniazid in the 1960s, and fungi through the 1970s and 80s. But of her first efforts to find postdoctoral employment, she recalls:
    “When I said, ‘Can’t I have a better job than this?’ I was quite explicitly told, ‘You’re married. You’re going to have children. You won’t be able to work.'”
    http://www.science.org.au/scientists/jy.htm
    http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0304b.htm

  76. March 15, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    March 15 was the birthday of English mathematician Grace Chisholm Young (1868-1944). Grace finished and defended a doctoral dissertation in spherical trigonometry at Gottingen in 1895, making her the first woman to earn a regular PhD in Germany in any subject. She and her mathematician husband collaborated (not always crediting Grace) on hundreds of publications. She also earned a medical degree. And had six children in nine years–of the six, five would earn degrees in math, chemistry, or medicine. Her granddaughter, Sylvia Wiegand, is past president of the Association for Women in Mathematics.
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/45779?docPos=88
    http://www.agnesscott.edu/LRIDDLE/WOMEN/young.htm
    Claire Jones, “Grace Chisholm Young: Gender and Mathematics around 1900,” Women’s History Review 9(4)(December 2000): 675-693.

  77. April 14, 2008 at 9:20 am

    April 14 was the birthday of British astronomer Annie Scott Dill Maunder (1868-1947), first woman elected to the Royal Astronomical Society (1916). She and her husband Walter Maunder at the Greenwich Royal Observatory studied the sun and sunspot activity; the “Maunder Minimum” is named for them, as is the Maunder crater on the moon…
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/46494?docPos=63
    Annie also produced a catalog of recurrent sunspot groups (1907), edited the British Astronomical Association’s journal for fifteen years, and co-wrote a popular science text, _The Heavens and their Story_ (1910).
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/46494?docPos=63

  78. April 14, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    April 15 was the birthday of Austrian-born English scientist Ida Freund (1863-1914). As a chemistry lecturer at Newnham College, Cambridge, she took particular interest in women’s science education: she opened a lab for women students to do experiments (they weren’t welcome in many other labs on campus), and helped some of them make up deficits in their earlier education; she also created a vacation course for women who taught science in schools, aimed at helping them create experiments and apparatus with limited resources. She was a beloved instructor, who once created a periodical table made of iced cakes (the numbers were made of chocolate). She also published two highly regarded chemistry textbooks.
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/48490?docPos=25

  79. April 14, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    April 15 was the birthday of Austrian-born English scientist Ida Freund (1863-1914). As a chemistry lecturer at Newnham College, Cambridge, she took particular interest in women’s science education: she opened a lab for women students to do experiments (they weren’t welcome in many other labs on campus), and helped some of them make up deficits in their earlier education; she also created a vacation course for women who taught science in schools, aimed at helping them create experiments and apparatus with limited resources. She was a beloved instructor, who once created a periodical table made of iced cakes (the numbers were made of chocolate). She also published two highly regarded chemistry textbooks.
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/48490?docPos=25

  80. April 19, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    April 20 was the birthday of Scottish marine biologist Sheina Macalister Marshall (1896-1977). After an education interrupted by WWI, she earned a B. Sc. at Glasgow, and went to work at a Scottish Marine Biological Association laboratory. She was part of a 1928-29 expedition to the Great Barrier Reef. In 1949, she was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Her work focused on copepods and the physiology of photosynthesis.
    http://www.wku.edu/~smithch/chronob/MARS1896.htm

  81. May 4, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    May 4 was the birthday of English zoologist Sidnie Milana Manton (1902-1979). As part of her doctoral research, she went on an expedition to the Great Barrier Reef in 1928. She finished her PhD in 1934, and married a fellow zoologist in 1937. She specialized in arthropod embryology and functional morphology.
    She’s also notable as one of the Manton sisters, Sidnie and Irene, who were the first pair of sisters elected to the Royal Society (1948). (Irene Manton was a professor of botany.)
    http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/31410?docPos=51

  82. May 6, 2008 at 5:58 am

    Updated!
    The week coming up (10th-17th May) is a particularly good one for parties: twelve in eight days, including both Dorothy Hodgkin and Florence Nightingale on the 12th.

  83. June 21, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    June 21 was the birthday of German chemist Clara Immerwahr Haber (1870-1915). She was the first woman to earn a doctorate at the University of Breslau, in 1900. She married the next year, to chemist Fritz Haber, and the year after that had a son, Hermann. She gave lectures for women’s groups, and assisted her husband (unpaid and uncredited). She was extremely frustrated in her marriage and work, saying “I’d rather write ten dissertations than suffer this way,” in a letter to a friend. She was particularly disgusted by her husband’s wartime work, developing Germany’s chemical weapons program during WWI.
    In 1915, soon after chlorine gas was used at Ypres according to Fritz Haber’s plan, Clara Immerwahr shot herself in the chest with his military pistol, and died in her son’s arms. She was 44.
    http://www.mscd.edu/~mdl/gerresources/frauen/chaber.htm
    http://world.std.com/~jlr/doom/haber.htm

  84. August 12, 2008 at 9:12 am

    August 12 is the birthday of English astronomer Eleanor Burbidge (b. 1919), the first woman appointed director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory (1972-73). When she was appointed, she was not given the honorary title Astronomer Royal–that traditional title was instead given to a male colleague.
    Burbidge refused the Annie Jump Cannon Prize from the American Astronomical Society because it was only given to women; in part because of her refusal, the AAS established a standing committee on the status of women in astronomy. She was president of the AAS (1976-1978), and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1983).
    As an astronomy professor and researcher at UC-San Diego, she was director of the UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, and helped develop some of the Hubble Space Telescope’s instruments. She’s now a professor emeritus.
    Today is Eleanor Burbidge’s 89th birthday. THere is a minor planet named Burbidge in her honor.
    http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/BruceMedalists/BurbidgeM/index.html
    http://www.britannica.com/women/article-9018118

  85. August 27, 2008 at 1:27 am

    August 27 was the birthday of American biologist, suffragist, and philanthropist Katharine Dexter McCormick (1875-1967). She was the second woman to graduate from MIT, and the first to earn a science degree there (in biology, in 1904).
    After her marriage disintegrated (her husband was hospitalized for mental illness, and later cared for at a family estate), she became involved in the suffrage movement, as a lecturer and a source of funds. She helped Margaret Sanger smuggle diaphragms into New York, and she was a leader of the League of Women Voters.
    McCormick established the Neuroendocrine Research Foundation at Harvard Medical School, and supported the publication of the journal _Endocrinology_. Late in life, she funded the research that helped develop the birth control pill. And she funded the building of Stanley McCormick Hall at MIT, a women’s dormitory that greatly expanded the school’s capacity to house women students.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Dexter_McCormick

  86. September 12, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    September 12 was the birthday of mathematician Dorothy Wrinch (1894-1976). She was born in Argentina, raised in England and studied logic with Bertrand Russell in college. In 1929 she was the first woman to receive a DSc from Oxford.
    In 1932 she co-founded the Biotheoretical Gathering, an interdisciplinary working group to study proteins (one of the other members of the group was Nobel laureate Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkins). She also published a book on the sociology of parenting. She moved to the US (with her twelve-year-old daughter) in 1939, and from 1942 held various research posts at Smith College. (Her papers are at Smith.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Maud_Wrinch

  87. September 12, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Penny – I’ve already got her! Potential reasons for this may become clear if you click through to my blog…

  88. September 12, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Penny – I’ve already got her! Potential reasons for this may become clear if you click through to my blog…

  89. November 27, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Say happy 97th birthday today to Fe del Mundo, born on this date in 1911, in Manila. Dr. del Mundo was possibly the first woman admitted to Harvard Medical School (in 1936); she founded a children’s hospital and published well over 100 research articles on infectious diseases in children. In 1980, she was the first Filipina woman to be designated a “National Scientist” by President Marcos. She invented a bamboo baby-warmer for use in rural hospitals.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fe_del_Mundo
    http://www.feu-alumni.com/announcements/fdm.htm

  90. December 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    December 6 was the birthday of American zoologist Libbie Henrietta Hyman (1888-1969). She never held a faculty position after earning her PhD in 1910, but she wrote two successful lab manuals, and after 1931 supported herself with the earnings from their sale to write a six-volume reference work on invertebrates, from an office at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. She also edited the journal _Systematic Zoology_ for several years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libbie_Hyman
    This is her brief autobiographical account of her life and career:
    http://dread1mynproductions.com/rablog/2008/12/05/just-say-hi/

  91. December 6, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Argh, no, that second link is wrong, use this:
    http://www.annelida.net/bio/hyman.html

  92. December 6, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Argh, no, that second link is wrong, use this:
    http://www.annelida.net/bio/hyman.html

  93. February 23, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    February 23: English botanist Agnes Robertson Arber (1879-1960); the third woman elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London, and the first woman awarded the Gold Medal of the Linnaean Society of London (1948). She specialized in plant morphology and developmental genetics; and also wrote in the philosophy and history of botany, and translated Goethe. Her only child, Muriel Agnes Arber (1913-2004), was a geologist.

  94. jc
    February 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I totally forgot about the calendar and the parties. Penny and MissPrism, this absolutely ROCKS!!!! Thanks for keeping it going. Parties will be happening here.

  95. March 16, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    March 16 (in addition to being Caroline Herschel’s birthday) is also the birthday of cell biologist Ursula Goodenough, born on this date in 1943 in New York City. She’s the author of a very successful textbook, _Genetics_, and has been president of the American Society for Cell Biology.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ursula_Goodenough

  96. June 1, 2009 at 9:50 am

    June 1 was the birthday of American medical research Judith Graham Pool (1919-1975). She earned a PhD in physiology from the University of Chicago in 1946. She’s best known for discovering cryoprecipitation, a process that concentrates blood clotting factors, thus improving the treatment options for hemophilia. She was also co-president of the Association of Women in Science and the first chair of the Professional Women of Stanford University Medical Center. There’s a Judith Graham Pool Research Fellowship given by the National Hemophilia Foundation in her memory.
    http://www.answers.com/topic/judith-graham-pool

  97. June 2, 2009 at 11:49 am

    British astronomer Heather Couper turns 60 today (June 2):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heather_Couper

  98. June 24, 2009 at 11:30 am

    American astronomer Caroline E. Furness (1869-1936) was born on this day (June 24). She was director of the observatory at Vassar for 20 years.
    http://vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/alumni/caroline-e-furness.html

  99. August 31, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    September 1 was the birthday of German-born physicist Hertha Sponer (1895-1968), the first woman on the faculty in the physics department at Duke University (beginning 1936).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hertha_Sponer

  100. September 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    September 3 was the birthday of Bulgarian physicist Elisaveta Karamihailova (1897-1968), a pioneer in radioactivity, who set up the first atomic physics lab at the University of Sofia during WWII, donating some of her own equipment to it realization.
    http://www.phys.uni-sofia.bg/upb/Karam.html
    http://www.issp.bas.bg/lab/ephi/Museum/HPS/HPS22-page408.html

  101. September 6, 2009 at 10:20 am

    September 6 was the birthday of German-born, Polish-American physician Marie Zakrzewska (1829-1902), founder of the New England Hospital for Women and Children, one of the earliest opportunities for women to receive rigorous medical training in the US:
    http://www.anb.org/articles/12/12-01014.html

  102. November 15, 2009 at 10:16 am

    November 15 seems to be the birthday of physicist Deborah Jin, by 1968, the youngest woman ever elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deborah_S._Jin
    http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2003/384.html
    http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/jin.htm

  103. January 1, 2010 at 11:51 am

    January 1 was the birthday of nuclear physicist Harriet Brooks (1876-1933). She was Canadian, the first graduate student of Ernest Rutherford, the first woman to earn a master’s degree at McGill. She was part of the team that discovered radon. But when she got engaged in 1906, the Dean at Barnard College enforced their rule against married faculty (the physics department head pleaded her case, but to no avail). She left the field entirely by 1907.
    “I think it is a duty I owe to my profession and to my sex to show that a woman has a right to the practice of her profession and cannot be condemned to abandon it merely because she marries. I cannot conceive how women’s colleges, inviting and encouraging women to enter professions, can be justly founded or maintained denying such a principle.”
    http://www.sciencetech.technomuses.ca/english/about/hallfame/u_i31_e.cfm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Brooks
    http://www.physics.ucla.edu/~cwp/Phase2/Brooks,_Harriet@842580299.html

  104. January 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    New Zealand astronomer Beatrice Hill Tinsley was born 27 January 1941 (d. 1981). She was a professor of astronomy at Yale University.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_Tinsley
    http://www.nzedge.com/heroes/tinsley.html
    http://www.nzine.co.nz/features/beatricehilltinsley.html
    http://www.phys.canterbury.ac.nz/BTI/Home.shtml

  105. April 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    5 April 1925 was the birthdate of American geneticist Janet Davison Rowley, who associated certain leukemias with certain chromosomal translocations in the 1970s. She was awarded the National Medal of Science for her work, and last year was one of the National Medal of Freedom recipients.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Rowley
    http://biomed.uchicago.edu/common/faculty/rowley.html
    http://www.physorg.com/news168187760.html

  106. April 9, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Wow! Thanks again, Penny – I’ve updated the calendar. There are now about 300 birthdays on there and we can have parties more days than not. Cheers!

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