Rose Dieng-Kuntz

Rose Dieng-Kuntz: knowledge webs and artificial intelligence

By Jaime Seltzer Rose Dieng-Kuntz was born in Dakar, Senegal, where she lived with her parents and her six siblings. Her father, Henri Deng, who was a strong proponent of education and hard work, dropped Rose and her siblings off at the front gates of her school early every day. And every day, little Rose […]

Tewhida Ben Sheikh

Tewhida Ben Sheikh – the Mother of Family Planning

By Jaime Seltzer The turn of the century brought about social reform worldwide, and Northern Africa was no exception. Reformers fought for women’s rights, including education, the right to go un-veiled, the end of traditional practices that were detrimental to women, and the vote. Muslim Arab girls enjoyed slightly more access to education than their […]

Chien Shiung Wu

Chien-Shiung Wu, the First Lady of Physics

By Jaime Seltzer “It is the courage to doubt what has long been established and the incessant search for its verification and proof that pushes the wheel of science forward.” Chien-Shiung Wu was born in 1912 in Liuhe, China. She was born at a felicitous time: the year before, the new Republic of China was […]

Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein’s Play Therapy

By Jaime Seltzer Melanie Klein was born Melanie Reizes to Moriz and Libussa in 1882. Melanie was the youngest of four children, and as such was made a bit of a pet by her older siblings: her eldest brother, Emmanuel, and her sister Sidonie were especially fond of Melanie, and made sure she was well-educated […]

Elizabeth Kenny

Sister Elizabeth Kenny versus the Polio Epidemic

By Jaime Seltzer Sister Elizabeth Kenny was a bush nurse living in rural Australia in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Rather than go to college for medicine and earn a degree, Elizabeth studied under anyone who would collaborate with her, from traditional practitioners to board-certified surgeons, and obtained her knowledge through experience. She would […]

Karen Horney: the Feminist Psychiatrist

By Jaime Seltzer Karen Horney was born in 1885 in Germany to a boat captain father and a well-educated mother. Her household consisted of her mother, her father’s children from another marriage, and she and her older brother, on whom she had a childhood crush. (Ewww, you are probably thinking: but it is pretty common […]

Irène Joliot-Curie: Daughter of Nuclear Science

By Jaime Seltzer Irène Joliot-Curie’s mother and father were Marie and Pierre Curie, a Polish and French husband and wife team already famous for their joint research on radioactivity. (I am sure that her parents and the world as a whole placed no pressure on her to be dazzlingly clever.) When Irène began showing signs […]

Nettie Stevens and the X chromosome

By Jaime Seltzer When Nettie Stevens was growing up in the late 1800s, scientists were not certain how characteristics were passed from parents to children. In 1903, Walter S. Sutton proposed chromosomes were responsible for how traits passed from generation to generation, but this had not yet been experimentally proved. There were still many scientists […]

Dorothy Hill: the Coral Geologist and Australian Advocate

By Jaime Seltzer Dorothy Hill was born on September 10, 1907 and began to kick butt shortly thereafter. She was interested in medicine at first, but the University of Queensland had no medical program, and her parents couldn’t afford to ship her away to Sydney or Melbourne to find one. Luckily, Dorothy was so brilliant […]

Maria Montessori: The Mother of Modern Education

By Jaime Seltzer Maria Montessori’s history is a bit mysterious, perhaps because the public fell so in love with her story that they couldn’t help but embellish it a little. Still – there are so many incredible stories that it becomes difficult to believe that at least a handful of them are not true. It […]