8 March is International Women’s Day, so here’s another edition in the Women in Chemistry History series. This graphic highlights another twelve women whose achievements in chemistry range from the development of vaccines and the production of antibiotics to the development of techniques for chemical analysis.
The text of this graphic is reproduced below for screen readers.
Emily Aston (1866-1948)
Carried out research on topics including mineral analysis, atomic weights, and molecular surface energies. Coauthored 14 research papers over a 16-year period.
Irma Goldberg (1871-?)
One of the few women with an organic chemistry reaction unambiguously named after her: The Goldberg amidation reaction, which joins an aniline and an aryl halide.
Mary Engle Pennington (1872-1952)
A biological chemist who developed new refrigeration techniques to help people preserve food. The first female lab chief of the US Food and Drug Administration.
Michiyo Tsujimura (1888-1969)
Carried out research on green tea, isolating several of its chemical components. She was awarded a doctorate degree in agriculture, the first woman in Japan to achieve this.
Sybil Rock (1909-1981)
Engineer and pioneer in mass spectrometry who developed techniques to analyse results from mass spectrometers, as well as developing procedures in mixture analysis.
Loney Gordon (1915-1999)
Analysed cultures of Bordetella pertussis, the cause of pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Her work led to the creation of the pertussis vaccine.
Elizabeth Hardy (1915-2008)
Discovered the Cope Rearrangement, an important reaction in organic chemistry, while working in Arthur Cope’s lab. She also researched and developed organic dyes.
Sinah Estelle Kelley (1916-1982)
Worked on mass production of the antibiotic penicillin in the United States after World War II. Also researched sugar, fermentation products, and strontium-90.
Sara Borrell Ruiz (1917-1999)
An analytical chemist who researched the biochemistry of steroid hormones. She was a founding member of the Spanish Society of Biochemistry.
Gao Xiaoxia (1919-1998)
An analytical chemist who developed tools and methods to detect elements in small quantities. Her work led to further ways of separating rare earth elements.
Katheryn Lawson (1926-2008)
Investigated transition metal compound properties. Her data helped evidence Crystal Field Theory, which describes electron orbital energies in the compounds.
Darshan Ranganathan (1941-2001)
A bioorganic chemist who researched supramolecular chemistry and chemical simulation of key biological processes, such as protein folding.
For a series of contemporary women in chemistry, check out the series of over 150 women in chemistry cards I made over the past two years.
Note: An earlier version of this graphic incorrectly stated that Irma Goldberg was the only woman to have an organic reaction unambiguously named after her. This is incorrect; there are also organic reactions named after Marta Catellani and Carolyn Bertozzi. The graphic has been corrected accordingly.