Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood actress and Torpedo jammer

By Jaime Seltzer “I can excuse everything but boredom. Boring people don’t have to stay that way.” – Hedy Lamarr “Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” – Hedy Lamarr Hedy was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kisler in Austria in 1914. From a very young age, […]

Inge Lehmann

Inge Lehmann and the Center of the Earth

By Jaime Seltzer Inge Lehmann was born in 1888 in Copenhagen. Her parents were both of an intellectual bent; her father was Professor of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen, where he taught classes on the battle between superstition and reason. The principal of Inge’s secondary school was Hanna Alder, Niels Bohr’s aunt, who had […]

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace: the Enchantress of Numbers

By Jaime Seltzer “That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show.” – Ada Lovelace Ada Lovelace’s childhood was profoundly weird. Her father was the poet Lord Byron, who was infamously identified as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” Despite his reputation or because of it, he was successful in […]

Sophie Germain

Sophie Germain – the Queen of Primes

By Jaime Seltzer Sophie Germain was born in 1776 in France, meaning that she would come to maturity during the French Revolution. Though she was born to a relatively well-off merchant, she was not a member of the aristocracy. On one hand, this could be a good thing (see: French Revolution)! On the other hand, […]

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 […]

Yvonne Brill

Yvonne Brill – the Rocket Scientist

By Jaime Seltzer Yvonne Brill was born in Manitoba in 1924. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Manitoba in 1945 and her Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Southern California in 1951. She had truly wished to study engineering, but the University of Manitoba informed her that there […]

Margaret E. Knight

Margaret E. Knight – Inventor Extraordinaire

By Jaime Seltzer Margaret was born in a small town in Maine in 1838. Her father died when Margaret was very small, and so she lived with her widowed mother and two older brothers. Though they were poor, Margaret was rich in imagination and native technical skill. Using her father’s old tools, she invented toys […]

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 […]

Euphemia Haynes

Euphemia Haynes – Vanquisher of Segregationist Schools

By Jaime Seltzer Euphemia was born Martha Euphemia Lofton in 1890 in Washington, D.C., the only child of a schoolteacher and dentist. She attended Smith College and majored in mathematics with a minor in psychology, graduating in 1914; and she earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Chicago in 1930. Euphemia then […]