Women in History - Biology

lappel at eagle.wesleyan.edu lappel at eagle.wesleyan.edu
Mon Apr 3 13:06:29 EST 1995

In article <3krvoq$mqo at monk.austin.cc.tx.us>, cddunn at monk.austin.cc.tx.us (charles dunn) writes:
> This is women in history month at our school and I need material on women
> who have done significant research in the biological sciences.  All the female
> researhers I know of are still alive and hence not yet history.

Putting aside for now the question of when history begins, two dead female
biologists come to mind immediately--

Hilde Mangold, working with Hans Spemann, did the elegant transplantation work
that defined what became known as Spemann's organizer -- the classic example of
primary induction in embryology.  See a standard text for details -- 
Gilbert's  Developmental Biology gives more info and references about her.  If
she had not been killed in an accident, she probably would have shared the
Nobel prize.

A woman who did get the Nobel prize by living long enough was Barbara
McClintock, whose work on movable genetic elements in corn was so heretical 
to the dogma of the irrevocable stability of the nuclear genome at the time
she did it that it was ignored for many years by the mainstream, and only
really appreciated several decades later.  See A Feeling For the Organism, her
biography by E. Fox-Keller.

Laurel F. Appel
Dept of Biology 
Wesleyan University 
Middletown, CT 06459

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