Category:18th-century women scientists
Pages in category "18th-century women scientists"
The following 62 pages are in this category, out of 62 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 62 pages are in this category, out of 62 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Maria Clara Eimmart – Maria Clara Eimmart, was a German astronomer, engraver and designer. She was the daughter and assistant of Georg Christoph Eimmart, the younger, Maria Clara Eimmart was a German Astronomer born in 1676. She was the daughter of painter, engraver, and amateur astronomer Georg Christoph Eimmart and her fathers profession was a lucrative one, but he spent all of his earnings in the purchase of astronomical instruments. He was a diligent observer and published his results in various memoirs and her grandfather, Georg Christoph Eimmart the elder, was also an engraver and painter. Eimmart the elder painted portraits, still-life, landscapes, and historical subjects, in 1678, Maria Clara Eimmart’s father built a private observatory in Nuremberg on the city wall. From 1699 to 1704, Georg Christoph Eimmart was the director of the Nuremberg Academy of Art, through her father, Maria Clara Eimmart received an education in French, Latin, Mathematics and drawing. Through her broad education in the arts, she specialized in botanical and astronomical illustrations. Because of the strength of the tradition in Germany, Eimmart was able to take advantage of the opportunity to train as an apprentice to her father. Eimmarts skills as an engraver allowed her to assist her father in his work, Eimmarts skill in creating exact sketches led to her success in both astronomical and botanical illustration. In addition to Eimmarts depictions of the sun and moon, she also illustrated flowers, birds, ancient statues, and ancient women, in 1706, Eimmart married Johann Heinrich Muller, her father’s pupil and successor. Muller taught physics at the Nuremberg Gymnasium, where Eimmart assisted her husband and their marriage successfully secured Eimmart’s position at the observatory. With these in their earlier Nuremberg home were associated the two Rost Brothers, novelists and astronomers, also Wurtzelbauer, and Doppelmayer, a historian of astronomy, Muller became the director of the Eimmart observatory in 1705. Muller also benefited from the marriage, because of the principle of rights, the Eimmarts observatory was part of Maria’s inheritance. Maria Clara Eimmart died in childbirth in 1707, Eimmart is best known for her exact astronomical illustrations. Between 1693 and 1698, Eimmart made over 350 drawings of the phases of the moon and this collection of drawings, drawn solely form observations through a telescope was called Micrographia stellarum phases lunae ultra 300 and was depicted on a distinctive blue paper. Twelve of these were given to conte Marsili, a collaborator of her father. Eimmart’s continuous series of depictions became the base for a new lunar map, in 1706, Eimmart also illustrated two depictions of the total eclipse. Schiebinger states that some sources claim Eimmart published a work under her father’s name in 1701, however, there is no evidence to support that this was her work and not her father’s
2. Sophie Germain – Marie-Sophie Germain was a French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. One of the pioneers of elasticity theory, she won the prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences for her essay on the subject. Her work on Fermats Last Theorem provided a foundation for exploring the subject for hundreds of years after. Because of prejudice against her sex, she was unable to make an out of mathematics. At the centenary of her life, a street and a school were named after her. The Academy of Sciences established The Sophie Germain Prize in her honor, marie-Sophie Germain was born on 1 April 1776, in Paris, France, in a house on Rue Saint-Denis. According to most sources, her father, Ambroise-Franҫois, was a silk merchant. In 1789, he was elected as a representative of the bourgeoisie to the États-Généraux and it is therefore assumed that Sophie witnessed many discussions between her father and his friends on politics and philosophy. Gray proposes that after his career, Ambroise-Franҫois became the director of a bank, at least. Marie-Sophie had one sister, named Angélique-Ambroise, and one older sister. Her mother was also named Marie-Madeline, and this plethora of Maries may have been the reason she went by Sophie, Germains nephew Armand-Jacques Lherbette, Marie-Madelines son, published some of Germains work after she died. When Germain was 13, the Bastille fell, and the atmosphere of the city forced her to stay inside. For entertainment she turned to her fathers library, here she found J. E. Montuclas LHistoire des Mathématiques, and his story of the death of Archimedes intrigued her. Sophie Germain thought that if the method, which at that time referred to all of pure mathematics, could hold such fascination for Archimedes. So she pored over every book on mathematics in her fathers library, even teaching herself Latin and Greek so she could read works like those of Sir Isaac Newton and she also enjoyed Traité dArithmétique by Étienne Bézout and Le Calcul Différentiel by Jacques Antoine-Joseph Cousin. Later, Cousin visited her in her house, encouraging her in her studies, Germains parents did not at all approve of her sudden fascination with mathematics, which was then thought inappropriate for a woman. After some time, her mother even secretly supported her, in 1794, when Germain was 18, the École Polytechnique opened. As a woman, Germain was barred from attending, but the new system of education made the notes available to all who asked
3. Anna Morandi Manzolini – Anna Morandi Manzolini was an internationally known anatomist and anatomical wax modeler, as lecturer of anatomical design at the University of Bologna. Anna Morandi was born in 1714 in Bologna, Italy and she was raised in a traditional home where marriage, children, and a domestic lifestyle were natural choices for women. In 1736, she was married to her sweetheart, Giovanni Manzolini. She was 20, and he was 24 years old, after five years of marriage, she was the mother of six children. In 1755, her husband died, and she was left with very slender means of support and she received tempting offers from other universities, but she preferred to remain in her native city, Bologna. She closed a laborious and honored life in the city in 1774, when her husband became ill with tuberculosis, she received special permission to lecture in his place. She became professor of anatomy upon his death in 1755, knowledge of her talent in molding anatomical models spread throughout Europe and she was invited to the court of Catherine II of Russia as well as other royal courts. It became her major turning point in her life, in order to learn anatomy, she had to dissect cadavers, which was extremely difficult for her, but she overcame her fears. Giovanni Manzolini was so encouraged by her and her accomplishments that he returned to his work. They were recognized as a team by many artists, intellectuals, after her husbands death, she was appointed Lecturer in Anatomy in her own name by the Institute of Bologna. Anna aided her husband, and then surpassed him in skill and she lectured in a lot of different places. In her lectures, she imparted with peculiar talent the knowledge derived from her husband and she clearly demonstrated, both theoretically and practically, the wonderful structure of the human body. She also crafted two portrait busts in wax, both of which are currently on display at the Palazzo Poggi in Bologna, one is a self-portrait, in which she depicts herself at work dissecting a human brain, the other is of her husband, engaged in similar activity. Her wax models were highly prized while she was alive and long after her death, some of her anatomical models were so skillfully molded that they were extremely difficult to distinguish from the actual body parts from which they were copied. Furthermore, her skill at dissection resulted in her discovery of several previously unknown anatomical parts. She held the distinction of having been the first person to reproduce body parts of minute portions, including capillary vessels and her collection of wax models was known throughout Europe as Supellex Manzoliniana and was eagerly sought after to aid in the study of anatomy. A collection of her models was acquired by the Medical Institute of Bologna and is housed at the Institute of Science in Bologna, after her death, a bust of her was placed in the Pantheon in Rome. Another portrait in wax, which she modeled herself, was placed in the museum at the University of Bologna, the Lady Anatomist, The Life and Work of Anna Morandi Manzolini
4. Maria Sibylla Merian – Merian received her artistic training from her stepfather, Jacob Marrel, a student of the still life painter Georg Flegel. She remained in Frankfurt until 1670, relocating subsequently to Nuremberg, the village of Wieuwerd in the Dutch Republic, where she stayed in a Labadist community till 1691. Merian published her first book of illustrations, titled Neues Blumenbuch. Her trip, designed as a scientific expedition makes Merian perhaps the first person to plan a journey rooted solely in science, after two years there, malaria forced her to return to Europe. She then proceeded to publish her work, Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, in 1705. She was a leading entomologist of her time and she discovered many new facts about life through her studies. Maria Sibylla Merians father, the Swiss engraver and publisher Matthäus Merian the Elder, married her mother, his wife, Johanna Sybilla Heyne. Maria was born within the year in 1647, making her his 9th child. Her father died in 1650, and in 1651 her mother remarried the flower-, Marrel encouraged Merian to draw and paint. While he lived mostly in Holland his pupil Abraham Mignon trained her, at the age of thirteen she painted her first images of insects and plants from specimens she had captured. Early on, she had access to books about natural history. Regarding her youth, in the foreword to Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Merian wrote, at the beginning, I started with silk worms in my home town of Frankfurt. I realized that other caterpillars produced beautiful butterflies or moths, and this led me to collect all the caterpillars I could find in order to see how they changed. In May 1665 Merian married Marrels apprentice, Johann Andreas Graff from Nuremberg, his father was a poet and director of the high school. In January 1668 she had her first child, Johanna Helena, while living there, Merian continued painting, working on parchment and linen, and creating designs for embroidery. She also gave drawing lessons to unmarried daughters of wealthy families and this provided her with access to the finest gardens, maintained by the wealthy and elite where she could continue collecting and documenting insects. In 1678, she gave birth to her second daughter Dorothea Maria, in 1679, she had published her first work on insects which was a two-volume, illustrated book focusing on insect metamorphosis. In 1678 the family had moved to Frankfurt am Main, and she moved in with her mother, after her stepfather died in 1681
5. Caroline Herschel – She was the sister of astronomer William Herschel, with whom she worked throughout her career. She was the first woman to be awarded a Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and she was also named an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy. The King of Prussia presented her with a Gold Medal for Science on the occasion of her 96th birthday, Caroline Lucretia Herschel was born in the town of Hanover on 16 March 1750. She was the child and fourth daughter of Isaac Herschel, a Jewish oboist. Isaac became a bandmaster in the Guards and was away with his regiment for substantial periods and he became ill after the Battle of Dettingen in 1743 and never recovered fully, suffering from a weak constitution, chronic pain, and asthma for the remainder of his life. The oldest of their daughters, Sophia, was the surviving girl besides Caroline. She married when Caroline was five, meaning that the girl was tasked with much of the household drudgery. Caroline and the children received a cursory education, learning to read and write. Her father attempted to educate her at home, but his efforts were successful with the boys. At the age of ten, Caroline was struck with typhus and she suffered vision loss in her left eye as a result of her illness. Her family assumed that she would never marry and her mother felt it was best for her to train to be a servant rather than becoming educated. Her father sometimes took advantage of her mothers absence to teach her directly or include her in her brothers lessons, Caroline was briefly allowed to learn dress-making. Though she learned to do needlework from a neighbor, her efforts were stymied by long hours of household chores. To prevent her becoming a governess and earning her independence that way. Following her fathers death, her brothers William and Alexander proposed that she join them in Bath, Caroline eventually left Hanover on 16 August 1772 after her brothers intervention with their recalcitrant mother. On the journey to England, she was first introduced to astronomy by way of the constellations and opticians shops and she took on the responsibilities of running Williams household in Bath, and began learning to sing. William had established himself as an organist and music teacher at 19 New King Street, Bath and he was also the choirmaster of the Octagon Chapel. William was busy with his career and became fairly busy organising public concerts
6. Justine Siegemund – Justine Siegemund or Siegemundin was a renowned German midwife whose Court Midwife was the more read, but not the first, female-published German obstetrical manual. Strikingly, Siegemund herself was childless, which should have disqualified her from her profession. Had that been the case, however, seventeenth century Europe would have lost a professional in her discipline. She was born the daughter of Elias Diettrich, a Lutheran minister, in Rohnstock and her father died in 1650, when she was aged fourteen. In 1655, she married Christian Siegemund, an accountant, however, it lasted for forty-two years, and Christian Siegemund provided considerable support to his wife during her professional career, although they may have lived apart from 1673. At twenty, Justine Siegemund suffered considerably at the hand of incompetent midwives who wrongly assumed that she was pregnant, however, sexist professional animosities were never far away. In 1680, Martin Kerger, her supervisor, turned on her. His groundless allegations did not affect Siegemunds professional employment opportunities, and she also served as royal midwife for Frederick IIIs sister Marie-Amalie, Duchess of Saxony-Zeitz, and delivered four of her children. At the court of August the Strong, she assisted Saxon Electress Eberhardine to give birth to her son, at the same time, she attended other births within the Berlin area. While in the Netherlands, Mary II of Orange suggested that Siegemund should author a textbook training manual for midwives, Siegemund had probably already started to compile the Court Midwife, however. Siegemund rarely used early pharmaceuticals or surgical instruments within her practice, by the time that she died on November 10,1705 in Berlin, Justine Siegemund had birthed almost six thousand two hundred infants, according to the Berlin deacon that presided over her funeral. In 1689, Siegemund travelled from the Hague to Frankfurt on Oder, and submitted her draft manual to the Frankfurt on Oder medical faculty and she had incorporated embryological and anatomical engravings from Regnier de Graaf and Govard Bidloo, which enhanced its practical utility. Based on careful notes that she had made during her deliveries she published an authoritative obstetrical text titled the Court Midwife in 1690 and it discusses its topics in the form of a dialogue between Justine and Christina, a pupil. In the textbook Siegmundin presented a solution to the delivery of a presentation, in those days often catastrophic situation leading to the death of the baby. She worked out a two-handed intervention to rotate the baby in the uterus securing one extremity by a sling and she also is credited of finding a method to deal with a hemorrhaging placenta previa by puncturing the amniotic sac. Berlin, Rüdiger,1723 Digital edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf, waltraud Pulz, «Nicht alles nach der Gelahrten Sinn geschrieben» – Das Hebammenanleitungsbuch von Justina Siegemund. Zur Rekonstruktion geburtshilflichen Überlieferungswissens frühneuzeitlicher Hebammen und seiner Bedeutung bei der Herausbildung der modernen Geburtshilfe, lynne Tatlock, Speculum Feminarum, Gendered Perspectives on Obstetrics and Gynecology in Early Modern Germany Signs,17, 725-740. Waltraud Pulz, Aux origines de lobstétrique moderne en Allemagne, accoucheurs contre matrones, in, Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine 43, S. 593–617
7. Maria Gaetana Agnesi – Maria Gaetana Agnesi was an Italian mathematician, philosopher, theologian and humanitarian. She was the first woman to write a handbook and the first woman appointed as a Mathematics Professor at a university. She is credited with writing the first book discussing both differential and integral calculus and was a member of the faculty at the University of Bologna and she devoted the last four decades of her life to studying theology and to charitable work and serving the poor. This extended to helping the sick by allowing them entrance into her home where she set up a hospital and she was a devout Catholic and wrote extensively on the marriage between intellectual pursuit and mystical contemplation, most notably in her essay Il cielo mistico. She saw the rational contemplation of God as a complement to prayer and contemplation of the life, death, Maria Teresa Agnesi Pinottini, clavicembalist and composer, was her sister. Maria Gaetana Agnesi was born in Milan, to a wealthy and her father Pietro Agnesi, a University of Bologna mathematics professor, wanted to elevate his family into the Milanese nobility. In order to achieve his goal, he had married Anna Fortunata Brivio in 1717 and her mothers death provided her the excuse to retire from public life. She took over management of the household and she was one of 21 children. Maria was recognized early on as a prodigy, she could speak both Italian and French at five years of age. By her eleventh birthday, she had also learned Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German, and Latin and she even educated her younger brothers. When she was nine years old, she composed and delivered a speech in Latin to some of the most distinguished intellectuals of the day. The subject was womens right to be educated, Agnesi suffered a mysterious illness at the age of 12 that was attributed to her excessive studying and was prescribed vigorous dancing and horseback riding. This treatment did not work, she began to experience extreme convulsions, by age fourteen, she was studying ballistics and geometry. Maria was very shy in nature and did not like these meetings and her father remarried twice after Marias mother died, and Maria Agnesi ended up the eldest of 21 children, including her half-siblings. In addition to her performances and lessons, her responsibility was to teach her siblings and this task kept her from her own goal of entering a convent, as she had become strongly religious. During that time, Maria studied with him both differential and integral calculus and her family was recognized as one of the wealthiest in Milan. According to Dirk Jan Struik, Agnesi is the first important woman mathematician since Hypatia, the goal of this work was, according to Agnesi herself, to give a systematic illustration of the different results and theorems of infinitesimal calculus. The model for her treatise was Le calcul différentiel et intégral dans l’Analyse by Charles René Reyneau, in this treatise, she worked on integrating mathematical analysis with algebra
8. Marie-Anne Paulze Lavoisier – Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, was a French chemist and noble. She was the wife of Antoine Lavoisier, and acted as his laboratory companion and her father, Jacques Paulze, worked primarily as a parliamentary lawyer and financier. Most of his income came from running the Ferme Générale which was a consortium of financiers who paid the French monarchy for the privilege of collecting certain taxes. Her mother, Claudine Thoynet Paulze, died in 1761, leaving not only Marie-Anne, then aged 3 only. After her mother’s death Paulze was placed in a convent where she received her formal education, at the age of thirteen Paulze received a marriage proposal from the 50-year-old Count dAmerval. Jacques Paulze tried to object to the union, but received threats about losing his job with the Ferme Générale, to indirectly thwart the marriage, Jacques Paulze made an offer to one of his colleagues to ask for his daughter’s hand instead. This colleague was Antoine Lavoisier, a French nobleman and scientist, Lavoisier accepted the proposition, and he and Marie-Anne were married on 16 December 1771. Lavoisier was about 28, while Marie-Anne was about 13, Lavoisier continued to work for the Ferme-Générale but in 1775 was appointed gunpowder administrator, leading the couple to settle down at the Arsenal in Paris. Paulze soon became interested in his research and began to actively participate in her husbands laboratory work. As her interest developed, she received training in the field from Jean Baptiste Michel Bucquet and Philippe Gingembre. The Lavoisiers spent most of their time together in the laboratory and she also assisted him by translating documents about chemistry from English to French. In fact, the majority of the effort put forth in the laboratory was actually a joint effort between Paulze and her husband, with Paulze mainly playing the role of laboratory assistant. In 1794 Lavoisier, due to his prominent position in the Ferme-Générale, was branded a traitor during the Reign of Terror by French revolutionaries, Paulze’s father, another prominent Ferme-Générale member, was arrested on similar grounds. On 28 November 1793 Lavoisier surrendered to revolutionaries and was imprisoned at Port-Libre, throughout his imprisonment Paulze visited Lavoisier regularly and fought for his release. She presented his case before Antoine Dupin, who was Lavoisier’s accuser and she told of her husband’s accomplishments as a scientist and his importance to the nation of France. Despite her efforts Lavoisier was tried, convicted of treason and executed on 8 May 1794 in Paris, Jacques Paulze was also executed on the same day. After his death, Paulze became bitter about what had happened to her husband and she was thrown into bankruptcy following the new governments confiscation of her money and property. In addition, the new government seized all of Lavoisier’s notebooks, the first volume contained work on heat and the formation of liquids, while the second dealt with the ideas of combustion, air, calcination of metals, action of acids, and the composition of water
9. Laura Bassi – Laura Maria Caterina Bassi was an Italian physicist and academic. She received a degree from the University of Bologna in May 1732. She was the first woman to earn a professorship in physics at a university in Europe and she is recognized as the first woman in the world to earn a university chair in a scientific field of studies. Bassi contributed immensely to the field of science while also helping to spread the field of Newtonianism through Italy and she was born in Bologna into the wealthy family of a lawyer. The date of her birth is contested in various different sources ranging between October 20 and October 29,1711 and she was privately educated, beginning at the age of 13 and continuing for seven years, by Gaetano Tacconi. The two began to drift apart after Bassi discovered her intrigue for Newtonian science despite Tacconi’s wish for her focus on the less controversial Cartesian beliefs and her cousin, Father Lorenzo Stegani tutored her in Latin, French and arithmetic. After much practice privately, in 1732, at the age of 20, she defended her thesis in the Palazzo Pubblico. On February 7,1738, she married Giuseppe Veratti, a doctor of philosophy and medicine, and they shared a sophisticated working relationship, it is argued that through their marriage Bassi was inspired to begin studying experimental physics. They parented twelve children of five survived. Bassi died on February 20,1778 at the age of 67, after publicly defending forty nine theses in the Palazzo Pubblico, she was awarded a doctorate of Philosophy on May 12,1732. Thus, Bassi became the woman in the world to earn a philosophy doctorate after Elena Cornaro Piscopia in 1678. The next month, she defended twelve additional theses at the Archiginnasio, on October 29,1732, the University of Bologna granted Bassi’s professorship in philosophy at the University of Bologna thus also making her a member of the Academy of the Sciences. The University, however, still held a value that women were to lead a private life, from 1746 to 1777 she gave only one formal dissertation per year ranging in topic from the problem of gravity to electricity. It is reported that she gave at least thirty-one dissertations to the university, because she could not lecture publicly at the university regularly, she began conducting private lessons and experiments from home in the year of 1749. This allowed her to veer away from the constraints of the university, the Senate expected Bassi to attend various events because she was a symbol and political figure. She began attending this event annually in 1734, Bassi earned the highest salary paid by the University of Bologna of 1,200 lire. In 1772 Paolo Balbi, chair of physics, died suddenly. Bassi’s husband Verratti was Balbi’s longtime assistant, however, Bassi believed she could fill the vacancy, thus, in 1776, at the age of 65, she was appointed to the chair in experimental physics by the Bologna Institute of Sciences with her husband as a teaching assistant