15 December – 1920-1930: Noddack, Lonsdale & Cori
Day 15 of the chemistry advent timeline features three women in chemistry who made key contributions.
Ida Noddack discovered rhenium with her husband and was also the first to suggest the concept of nuclear fission. Though other chemists and physicists initially mocked her claims, she was later proved correct.
Kathleen Lonsdale, a pioneer in X-ray crystallography, provided crystallographic evidence of benzene’s structure. She was also involved work on synthetic diamonds, and one of the structural forms of diamond is named after her.
Gerty Cori researched biochemical reactions in the human body with her husband. The two were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work. Despite the fact that they worked as laboratory partners, when they first started working together at Washington University she was paid a tenth of the wage that was paid to her husband.