Dorothy Hodgkin

Dorothy Hodgkin, the Mistress of Molecular Modelling

By Jaime Seltzer Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin was born in Cairo, Egypt in May of 1910; both of her parents had an interest in archaeology and antiquities, and so spent a great deal of time away from their native England. John Winter Crowfoot was the Director of Education and Antiquities in the Sudan, and Grace Mary […]

Theo Colborn

Theo Colborn and Endocrine Disruption

By Jaime Seltzer “We have unwittingly and catastrophically changed the atmosphere… and the womb.” – Theo Colborn Theo Colborn was already an unconventional learner by the time she was in high school in the 1940s, taking science classes that it was understood were meant to be for the boys. Growing up in a family that […]

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 […]

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 […]

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin and the Secret of Life

By Jaime Seltzer Ask any scientist about Rosalind Franklin and the expression that will adorn their faces will be immediate commiseration served up with a side of outrage. Many consider her the scientist most cheated out of honors, awards, and recognition in the modern age. Rosalind was born in 1920 in London, England, to a […]

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai – addressing the problem at the root

By Jaime Seltzer Wangari Maathai grew up in a lush, rural area of Kenya in 1940. She earned both her graduate and undergraduate degrees in the United States in the 1960s, and then worked on earning her doctoral degree in Germany and Nairobi, making her the first woman to earn a doctoral degree in East […]

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 […]