17 December – 1940-1950: Seaborg, Chatterjee & Hodgkin
Day 17 of the chemistry advent calendar starts with Glenn Seaborg, involved in the discovery of ten elements. He was also the only person to have an element named after them while still alive until oganesson was named after Yuri Oganessian in 2017.
Asima Chatterjee was the first Indian women to earn a doctorate in any science when she gained her doctorate in chemistry in 1944. She spent her career investigating the organic compounds produced by plants native to the Indian subcontinent and discovering various medical uses for them.
Dorothy Hodgkin was a pioneer in using X-ray crystallography to determine the structure of complex molecules. Ultimately, she used it to determine the structure of the insulin protein and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the elucidation of the structure of vitamin B12. She’s still the only British woman to have won a Nobel Prize in any science field. Recently, there’s been a campaign to get her featured on the new £50 notes in the UK.
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