Catherine Whitlock and Rhodri Evans - Ten Women Who Changed Science, and the World - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781405542852
    • Publication date:07 Feb 2019
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    • ISBN:9781472137432
    • Publication date:07 Feb 2019

Ten Women Who Changed Science, and the World

By Catherine Whitlock and Rhodri Evans

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The moving stories of ten remarkable women who transformed science, and changed the world.

With a foreword by Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics, University of Cambridge and Master of Churchill College.

Ten Women Who Changed Science tells the moving stories of the physicists, biologists, chemists, astronomers and doctors who helped to shape our world with their extraordinary breakthroughs and inventions, and outlines their remarkable achievements.

These scientists overcame significant obstacles, often simply because they were women their science and their lives were driven by personal tragedies and shaped by seismic world events. What drove these remarkable women to cure previously incurable diseases, disprove existing theories or discover new sources of energy? Some were rewarded with the Nobel Prize for their pioneering achievements - Madame Curie, twice - others were not and, even if they had, many are not household names.

Despite living during periods when the contribution of women was disregarded, if not ignored, these resilient women persevered with their research, whether creating life-saving drugs or expanding our knowledge of the cosmos. By daring to ask 'How?' and 'Why?' and persevering against the odds, each of these women, in a variety of ways, has made the world a better place.

Astronomy

Henrietta Leavitt (United States of America) (1868-1921) - discovered the period-luminosity relation(ship) for Cepheid variable stars, which enabled us to measure the size of our Galaxy and the Universe.

Physics

Lise Meitner (Austria) (1878-1968) - fled Nazi Germany in 1938, taking with her the experimental results which showed that she and Otto Hahn had split the nucleus and discovered nuclear fission.

Chien-Shiung Wu (United States of America) (1912-1997) - Chinese-American who disproved one of the most accepted 'laws of nature', that not all processes can be mirrored. She showed that the 'law of parity', the idea that a left-spinning and right-spinning sub-atomic particle would behave identically, was wrong.

Chemistry

Marie Curie (France) (1867-1934) - the only person in history to have won Nobel prizes in two different fields of science.

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (United Kingdom) (1910-1994) - British chemist who won the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1964. Among the most prominent of a generation of great protein crystallographers. The field was revolutionized under her. She pioneered the X-ray study of large molecules of biochemical importance: the structures of cholesterol, penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin, leading to DNA structure analysis by Franklin etc.

Medicine

Virginia Apgar (United States of America) (1909-1974) - of Apgar Score fame.

Gertrude Elion (United States of America) (1918-1999) - won the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine in 1988 for developing some important principles for drug development.

Biology

Rita Levi-Montalicini (Italy) (1909-2012) - the so-called 'Lady of the Cells'. She won the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine in 1986 for her co-discovery in 1954 of NGF (nerve growth factor).

Elsie Widdowson (United Kingdom) (1906-2000) - a pioneer of the science of nutrition who was instrumental in devising the WW2 diet, in part through self-experimentation.

Rachel Carson (United States of America) (1907-1964) - marine biologist and author of Silent Spring who is credited with having advanced the environmental movement.

Biographical Notes

Catherine Whitlock (Author)
Catherine Whitlock's PhD in Immunology at the University of London was followed by ten years of post-doctoral research in cell biology and immunology. More recently she has taught these subjects. She has an ongoing research interest in evaluating the power of science communication initiatives, such as Café Scientifique, and having gained a Diploma in Science Communication from Birkbeck College, University of London, she now works as a freelance writer. Her most recent work, including her latest book, can be found at www.catherinewhitlock.co.uk. She is a Chartered Biologist and a member of the British Society for Immunology and the Association of British Science Writers. She lives in Kent.

Rhodri Evans (Author)
Dr Rhodri Evans studied Physics at Imperial College London, graduating with First Class honours, before gaining his PhD in Astrophysics from Cardiff University. He has taught at the University of Toledo in the United States, at Swarthmore College and done post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory, 'the birthplace of modern astrophysics'. He is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of Namibia. Rhodri is the author of numerous academic papers as well as popular-science articles, he speaks regularly at conferences and is a regular contributor to the BBC on Physics and Astronomy. His popular blog can be found at thecuriousastronomer.wordpress.com.

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  • ISBN: 9781472137425
  • Publication date: 07 Feb 2019
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