Posts tagged ‘physics’

Ladies of the Laboratory 3: The Scientific Slut–Émilie du Châtelet

Written by Lewis D. Eigen

There is one marvelous scientist who, in the 18th century, not only brought the new mathematics and physics of Isaac Newton to much of France, but also found and corrected some errors that Newton had made—overturning erroneous physics principles that then had general scientific concurrence.  The scientist was a woman–Émilie du Châtelet.  And yet even many of the modern feminists who have sought to give female scientists due recognition, tend to avoid using this scientist as an example.  The reason is that by modern contemporary standards, she was a slut—a sexual libertine.  She was a little too liberated.  This article is not only about her, but about the culture that to this day inhibits recognition of a female scientist because of her personal sexual predilections—having nothing to do with science.

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December 31, 2009 at 12:12 AM 6 comments

Ladies of the Laboratory 1: Challanging the Greats

The story of a young, scientist who was one of a very few female PhDs in Europe during the 1930’s and then found herself in a difficult dilemma as she suspected that the great Enrico Fermi had made a mistake in one of his major publications. Her fears and feelings as she developed the courage to “go public”, and the results are all described.

Continue Reading October 18, 2009 at 2:27 AM 4 comments


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