Lynn Margulis

Lynn Margulis – the Rebel of Evolutionary Biology

By Jaime Seltzer “The view of evolution as a chronic bloody competition among individuals and species, a popular distortion of Darwin’s notion of “survival of the fittest,” dissolves before a new view of continual cooperation, strong interaction, and mutual dependence among life forms. Life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking. […]

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson and the Silent Spring

By Jaime Seltzer “If, having endured much, we have at last asserted our “right to know,” and if, knowing, we have concluded that we are being asked to take senseless and frightening risks, then we should no longer accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals; […]

Tikvah Alper

Tikvah Alper, Discoverer of the Prion

By Jaime Seltzer Tikvah Alper was born to Russian immigrant Jewish parents in South Africa in 1909, the youngest daughter of four. She was incredibly precocious, graduating from Durban Girls High School when she was only fifteen; faculty said she was the most “intellectually distinguished” girl they had ever taught. Tikvah won a scholarship to […]

Ellen Swallow Richards

Ellen H. Richards – the Mother of Family and Consumer Science

By Jaime Seltzer “The quality of life depends on the ability of society to teach its members how to live in harmony with their environment – defined first as the family, then with the community, then with the world and its resources.” – Ellen H. Richards Ellen Henrietta Swallow was born in the Boston area […]

Margaret Fountaine

Margaret Fountaine – World Traveler and Adventuress

By Jaime Seltzer “To the Reader – maybe yet unborn – I leave this record of the wild and fearless life of one of the “South Acre Children”, who never ‘grew up’…” – Margaret Fountaine Margaret Fountaine was born in 1862 in Norfolk, England, a beautiful and talented woman who probably could have been an […]

Emmy Noether

Emmy Noether: Mathematical Symmetry and the Laws of Conservation

By Jaime Seltzer “My methods are really methods of working and thinking; this is why they have crept in everywhere anonymously.” – Emmy Noether Emmy Noether was born in 1882 in Bavaria to a very clever family: her father was a professor at the University of Erlangen, and two of her three younger brothers became […]

Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville – The Polymath

By Jaime Seltzer Mary Somerville was born in December of 1780. She was born to two uneducated parents in Scotland, in a time where it was thought – and I do not kid – that women were too weak-minded for strenuous intellectual activity, and that the pursuit of it would quite literally set them insane. […]

Ellen Hayes

Ellen Hayes – activist, educator, mathematician, astronomer, and critical thinker

By Jaime Seltzer “Radical ideas directed toward the promotion of free thought, free speech, free opportunity, free lives, grow and spread….You and I are called to the trailblazer’s work of today. There will be those – perhaps many – who will see our blazes and follow us. We won’t know who they are, probably; but […]

Sofia Kovalevskaya

Sofia Kovalevskaïa – Mathematician, Author, Astronomer

By Jaime Seltzer “Say what you know, do what you must, come what may.” – Sofia Kovalevskaïa Sofia Kovalevskaya was born in 1850 to an upper-class Russian family. Sofia came from a fine and distinguished line of mathematicians, though she did not know it until she had been studying for some time: her grandfather had […]

Lilian Gilbreth

Lillian Gilbreth – the Mother of Applied Psychiatry… and twelve children

By Jaime Seltzer “…if the only way to enter a man’s field was through the kitchen door, that’s the way she’d enter.” – Lillian Gilbreth Lillian Gilbreth led an unusual and fascinating life for a young woman born in the 1870s. She had eight siblings and a sickly mother, so she often ended up looking […]