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Seven female scientists you may not have heard of

Astronomer Mary Somerville (1780 - 1872)

Astronomer Mary Somerville (1780 - 1872)

The Scottish astronomer’s research has proven essential to the discovery of Neptune. Furthermore, in 1835 she got the title of the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society in London and she has been on the Royal Bank of Scotland’s notes for the last three years.

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Seven female scientists you may not have heard of

Seven female scientists you may not have heard of

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51399835

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

Astronomer Mary Somerville (1780 - 1872)

The Scottish astronomer’s research has proven essential to the discovery of Neptune. Furthermore, in 1835 she got the title of the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society in London and she has been on the Royal Bank of Scotland’s notes for the last three years.

British paleontologist Mary Anning (1799 - 1847)

She made the fascinating discovery of what we call today the Jurassic remains, by finding an ancient reptile at a very young age. 

Even though she did not receive recognition during her lifetime, she now bears the title of the ‘unsung hero of fossil discovery.’

Ada Lovelace - Mathematician (1815 - 1852)

She is most famous for the creation of what is today known as ‘looping’- a method by which the computer programs repeat a series of instructions.

British doctor Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836 - 1917)

She was the very first female doctor in the UK, obtaining the right to participate in university courses after years of having observed and attended male medical students. Furthermore, she is also one of the co-founders of the London School of Medicine for Women and an activist for women’s right to vote.

British dietician Elsie Widdowson (1906 - 2000)

She released the book The Chemical Composition of Foods, which describes the nutritional values of various foods. Moreover, she encouraged the addition of vitamins to food during wartime rationing.

Dorothy Hodgkin - Chemist (1910 - 1994)

She is the only British woman to have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, after having discovered the structures of penicillin, insulin and vitamin B12. 

More than that, she found herself as one of the chemistry lecturers of previous Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at Somerville College and she was president of the Pugwash Conference for 12 years, an international organization that has as aim to evaluate the threats of nuclear weapons.

Astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943 -)

She is most famous for the discovery of radio pulsars, which are the by-products of supernova explosions that allow the existence of life under all its forms.

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Lucy Wills was a hematologist who discovered that folic acid could be used to prevent life-threatening types of anemia in pregnant women.

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The life of Lucy Wills

  • Lucy Wills was born on May 10, 1888, in Sutton Coldfield, England.
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  • In 1903, she attended Cheltenham School that train female students in science and mathematics.
  • In 1907, Wills began studying natural sciences and botany at Newnham College, an all-women's college.
  • In 1915, Wills enrolled at the London School of Medicine for Women and became qualified in 1920.
  • She taught and researched in the department of pregnant pathology at the Royal Free Teaching Hospital in London.

Starting to study anemia

In 1928, Lucy Wills was recruited to India and tasked to investigate why millions of pregnant women in the developing world suffered from a severe and often deadly form of anemia.

She found the red blood cells of anemic pregnant women were extremely swollen and consequently not carrying enough hemoglobin. Wills first thought that a bacteria or virus might have caused anemia. But she noticed that richer women in India who had a more nutritious diet were less likely to become anemic during pregnancy.

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Wonder is said to be a childish emotion. However, as adults, we experience it when gaping at something unexpectedly spectacular.

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The bodily symptoms of this strange appearance point to three dimensions:

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At the mild end of this emotion, we talk about things being marvelous. More intense emotions might be described as astonishing. The extreme of this experiences is met with expressions of awe.

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