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Erasing Mileva Marić-Einstein, The Woman Behind Einstein’s Math. (Women in Science 72)

Content Note: By the end of this article, you are not going to like Albert Einstein much.  If this is a problem for you, if part of your sense of the grandeur of humanity is wrapped up in the sympathetic image of Einstein’s personality and genius, then you might want …

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Wither: The Many Triumphs and Long Fall of Nuclear Physicist Harriet Brooks. (Women in Science 71)

Reading the life of Harriet Brooks is like watching the gradual, inevitable unfolding of a horror movie.  There’s that same idyllic, promising beginning that suddenly gives way as the heroine puts her hand on the basement door of Ancient Contained Horrors and, no matter how much you shout or plead, …

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She Filled the Sky: The Iron Astronomy of Annie Jump Cannon (Women in Science 70).

350,000 stars classified. It’s one of astronomy’s unbreakable and frankly not even approachable records, the scientific equivalent of the Ripken Streak.  Seven hours a day, six days a week, for forty-four years, one woman bent herself to the task of creating an ultimate chart of the night sky, with each …

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The Chemistry of Beauty: Hazel Bishop Betrayed. (Women in Science 69)

Remember a while ago when I said that botanists were the most under-respected members of the scientific community?  Well, that’s true until you consider a branch of science so underappreciated that many disdainfully refuse to even consider its practitioners as “real” scientists at all: cosmetic chemists. Either because they harness …

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ComicphysicsQuantum MechanicsScience

Owner of a Lonely Quark: The High Temperature Quantum Chromodynamics of Ágnes Mócsy (Women in Science 68)

When planning a trip to the universe’s first millionth of a second of existence, there are really only two things the canny traveler needs to keep in mind: (1) Don’t pack woolens. At 4 000 000 000 000 degrees Celsius, or some three hundred thousand times hotter than the center …


Fighting Penicillin’s Monster: Elizabeth Hazen and Rachel Brown. (Women in Science 68)

Who (besides, obviously, bacteria) doesn’t love penicillin?  It’s on everybody’s shortlist of the most important things we’ve discovered to improve our lot on this world.  Just a hundred years ago, an infected wound often meant an amputated limb, there being no weapon to stop the spread of infection this side …

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When Memory Has Gone: The Neuroscience of Suzanne Corkin (Women in Science 66)

Forgetting is the horrible, beautiful necessity that keeps the past from swallowing the present but that, given too free a hand, picks apart the very strands of selfhood.  As recently as a half century ago, since we didn’t understand memory we had no idea of how to account for its …