english chemist

  • <p> <b>english castles:</b> past the chemists a little bit up the hill, next to the tea rooms<p/><b>scottish castles:</b> atop yonder precipice over a sea of wyrms, gazing mournfully into the viking sunrise, the sky thunderous and wrathful<p/></p>
Awesome Women + Google Doodles

Scientists, Mathematicians, and Inventors

Rachel Louise Carson (1907-1964)

American marine biologist and conservationist whose writing brought public attention to environmental threats, especially pesticides

Marie Curie (1867-1934)

Polish and French physicist  and chemist whose pioneering work on radioactivity made her the first woman to win a Nobel prize, as well as the first person and only woman to win two

Rosalind Franklin (120-1958)

An English chemist whose work with x-ray crystallography was instrumental to discovering the structures of DNA, viruses, coal, and graphite; she died of breast cancer before she could be awarded the Nobel prize, and her colleagues Watson and Crick are often given sole credit to this day

Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)

Italian mathematician and philospher who wrote first book covering both integral and differential calculus and spent the latter half of her life on charity and theology

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)

British mathematician and writer whose work on the the Analytical Engine, an early computer, made her the world’s first computer programmer

Feminists and Activists

May Ziade (1886-1941)

Lebanese-Palestinian writer, poet, and translator influential in the Arab literary world and known as an early Palestinian feminist

Henrietta Edwards (1849-1931)

Canadian activist and reformer who fought for women’s rights in voting, education, work, and health

Dorothy Irene Height (1912-2010)

educator and activist who fought for the equal treatment of women, people of color, and LGBT+ people

Concepción Arenal (1820-1893)

Spanish writer and women’s rights activist who was the first woman to attend university in Spain

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)

British women’s rights activist and suffragette whose militant tactics were key to winning women voting rights in Britian

Artists, Writers, Pilots, One Athlete, and One Entrepreneur

Sohair El-Qalamawy (1911-1997)

influential Egyptian writer, politician, and women’s rights activist, as well as first female professor at Cairo University

Loftia El Nady (1907-2002)

Egyptian aviator who studied flying in secret and became the first female pilot in the Arab world and Africa

Grete Waitz (1953-2011)

Norwegian runner, first woman to run the marathon in under 2.5 hours, and winner of a record 9 New York City Marathons

Amalia Eriksson (1824-1923)

Swedish entrepreneur who became one of the first women in Sweden to own a business and the first person to manufacture peppermint candy

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

American aviator and first female pilot to fly across the atlantic

Martha Graham (1894-1991)

American modern dancer and choreographer whose work revolutionized dance and theater

Anne-Cath. Vestly (1920-2008)

Norwegian author of children’s literature whose writing challenged gender roles

M. S. Subbulakshmi (1916-2004)

renowned Indian musician and vocalist who was awarded the  Bharat Ratna and the Ramon Magsaysay award

Nellie Melba (1861-1931)

soprano opera singer who became the first Australian to gain international recognition as a classical musician

                       Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy birthday to Rosalind Franklin!!!

Rosalind Elsie Franklin (1920-1958), English chemist and X-ray crystallographer, was most famous on her contributions to the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA, as well as RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite. Graduating with a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1945, she briefly went to Paris as a post-doctoral researcher before becoming a research associate at King’s College London in 1951, where she would work on X-ray diffraction, which would later become pivotal to development of the double-helix structure theory of DNA. Eventually leaving King’s College, Franklin moved on to study the molecular structure of viruses at Birkbeck College. In 1958, she died of ovarian cancer when she was just 37. Although her work largely aided 1962 Nobel Prize winners James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins and their discovery of the DNA double helix after her death, the Nobel Committee does not make posthumous nominations. Nevertheless, her work played a monumental role in the field of chemistry, still influencing studies today.

5 brilliant women in science who you’ve probably never heard of

A new book Headstrong: 52 women who changed science and the world, profiles 52 women who are experts in their field, from Nobel Prize winners to lesser-known individuals.
Maria Konnikova, author and contributor to the New Yorker said: ‘A woman revolutionised heart surgery. A woman created the standard test given to all newborns to determine their health. A woman was responsible for some of the earliest treatments of previously terminal cancers. We shouldn’t need to be reminded of their names, but we do.’
In the spirit of celebrating women in science, here are five names you should know.

1. Henrietta Leavitt, 1868-1921

Who: American Astronomer
What she did for science: Leavitt discovered the ‘period-luminosity relationship’, which enabled astronomers being able to measure the distance between the earth and other galaxies. Leavitt received little recognition in her lifetime.

2. Rosalind Franklin, 1920-1958

Who: English chemist and X-ray crystallographer
What she did for science: Franklin made significant contributions to understanding the molecular structure of DNA, which has played a central role in human biology. Sadly she died of ovarian cancer aged 37.

3. Dorothy Hodgkin, 1910-1994

Who: British biochemist

What she did for science: Hodgkin developed protein crystallography, and is considered a pioneer in studies of biomolecules. She also confirmed the structures of penicillin and vitamin B and is the only British woman to have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

4. Chien-Shiung Wu, 1912-1997

Who: Chinese-American experimental physicist
What she did for science: Wu made significant contributions in radioactivity research. The ‘Wu experiment’, which contradicted the law of conservation of parity, earned the 1957 Nobel Prize in physics for Wu’s colleagues Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen-Ning Yang. As well as earning her the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1978.

5. Lise Meitner, 1878-1968

Who: Austrian physicist
What she did for science: Meitner was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission, for which her colleague Otto Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize. She is often regarded as one of the clearest examples of a woman being overlooked by the Nobel committee.


Welcome to a whole new work week! I hope you’re not too full of wrath, because it’s METAL MONDAY, and we’re talking about a transition metal named after a Greek goddess that’s probably in your car: palladium (Pd).

  • The largest use of palladium is in catalytic converters, which transform harmful exhaust pollutants into less toxic substances.
  • The metal was named in 1802 by English chemist William Hyde Wollaston (pictured above) after the asteroid Pallas – a nickname for the Greek goddess Athena, who slayed a giant of the same name as the asteroid and took his hide as her aegis.
  • The metal can be found alloyed with gold and other platinum-group metals in places like the Ural Mountains, Australia, and North and South America. 
  • Palladium can be produced in nuclear fission reactors and extracted from spent nuclear fuel, but this method of production is not used.

(Image / Source Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Happy Birthday OXYGEN.  I guess.  Words enter language and sometimes words disappear-often as quickly as they appeared.  In the transition from the ancient ideas of the ‘four elements’ of earth, air, fire and water, to the modern Periodic table, scientists struggled to understand basic chemical reactions such as oxidation.  In 1730 the word phlogiston entered the scientific vocabulary, meaning a hypothetical inflammatory principle, formerly believed to exist in all combustible matter, and later extended to cover reactions such as oxidation.  The word came into English from Modern Latin around 1702, which came from the Ancient Greek word φλογιστον phlogiston (1610s in this sense), neuter of φλογιστος phlogistos meaning burnt up, inflammable, from φλογιζειν phlogizeinto set on fire, burn, which came from from φλοχ phlox (genitive phlogosflame, blaze.  The theory was propounded by German chemist George Ernst Stahl in 1702, denied by French chemist Antoine Lavoisier by 1775, defended by English theologian and chemist Joseph Priestley but generally abandoned by 1800. When Lavoisier composed the word oxygen in 1777 (in French, oxygen entered English in 1790), he was reacting to and rejecting the idea of phlogiston, composing his word from the Ancient Greek word oxys meaning sharp or acid and the -gene suffix used to indicate the origin orformation of something.  The word was meant to indicate‘acidifying principle’ because it was considered essential in the formation of acids, though this has since been shown not to be true. In fact, when Priestley isolated oxygen for the first time on August 1, 1774 he called it deplhogisticated air, but Lavoisier’s endeavors a year later meant the end of the phlogiston.

Image of iron oxidation courtesy Dustin Jamison, used with permission under a Creative Commons 3.0 License.

Kid President’s History of Awesome Girls rap (watch here) has been making the rounds of the internet and classrooms and even beyond. Many have asked and we wanted to take a moment to share little about each woman mentioned in the video. While, obviously, we couldn’t include everyone woman who has made history in our video we wanted to at least get as many as we could. Here’s a few!

Susan B. Anthony -  suffragist, abolitionist, author, and speaker
Gwendolyn Brooks - American poet and teacher, first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize
Anne Frank - young author of memoir that helped provide commentary for the terrors of war and its impact on human beings
Frida Kahlo - Mexican painter well known for her self-portraits
Ruby Bridges - American activist known for being the first black child to attend an all white elementary school in Louisiana
Jackie O - First Lady to 35th President of the United States, JFK. Fashion icon. Book editor. Preservationist.
Juliette Gordon Low - founder of Girls Scouts of the USA
Harriet Beecher Stowe - American abolitionist and author. Best known for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Sally Ride - First American woman in space. Physicist and astronaut.
Mary Bowser - Freed slave who worked as a Union spy during the Civil War
Maya Lin - Designer and artist known for sculpture and landscape art. Designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at age 21.
Tina Fey - First female head writer of NBC’s Saturday Night Live
Mother Teresa - founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, dedicated to helping the poor
Dorothy Day - American journalist and social activist
Rachel Carson - marine bioligist, conservationist, author
Julia Child - chef, author, and television personality
Serena Williams - professional tennis player. Winner of 4 Olympic gold medals
Nellie Bly - Industrialist, inventor, and charity worker who traveled the world in a record-breaking 72 days
Jane Goodall - British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace
Rosa Parks - African-American Civil Rights activist arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus
Helen Keller - first person having deafblindnes to earn a bachelor of arts degree
Malala Yousafzai - Pakistani activist for female education and youngest-ever Novel Prize laureate
Maya Angelou - author, poet, actress, and civil rights activist
Eleanor Roosevelt - American politician, diplomat and activist, longest-serving First Lady of the United States
Beverly Cleary - prolific author of children’s literature including many beloved books featuring Ramona Quimby and Ralph S. Mouse
Sandra Day O’Connor - first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States
Lady Bird Johnson - recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, First Lady of the United States (1963-69)
Ruth Muskrat Bronson - Native American educator and cultural activist
Rosalind Franklin - English chemist and X-ray crystallographer notable for work in contributions to understanding molecular structure of DNA, RNA, coal, graphite and viruses.
Harriet Tubman - African-American abolitionist and humanitarian. Served as Union Spy during Civil War
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn - labor leader, activist and feminist who was founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union
Stacy Allison - first American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest
Amelia Earhart - First female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

This is just Part 1! In the next post we’ll share more about some of the others featured in the video including links with how you can get involved and help them as they work to make the world more awesome!