"Women in Science Wednesday"
Each and every day—every month, every year—women are making discoveries, breaking barriers, and changing the world through their achievements. This month, of course, we are celebrating “Women in STEM” –honoring scientists whose accomplishments are a source of inspiration, and whose work has paved the way or is paving the way for current and future innovations.
The Smithsonian Institution website has a special section honoring women in science, through which one can view additional biographies from Smithsonian Institution Archives' Women in Science Wednesday! Which is a fantastic theme!
For the first-ever MBS “Women in Science Wednesday,” we honor Cornelia Clapp (1849-1934). Born 172 years ago today, on St. Patrick's Day, Clapp—a preeminent marine biologist, zoologist, and educator—had many “firsts” of her own:
“In a time when few women pursued science at all,” reads her biography on the Mount Holyoke College website, “she studied chick embryology at MIT and earthworms at Williams College. She was the first woman given a research position at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and became its first female trustee. Clapp was one of the first women ever to receive a Ph.D. from an American university...In fact, she earned two doctorates, the first from Syracuse University in 1889, and the second from the University of Chicago in 1896.”
“[Clapp's] influence as an educator,” conclude the Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica in Clapp's britannica.com bio, “was great and enduring in a period when the world of science was just opening to women.” Britannica.com editors also put together the below video, 5 Famous Firsts Achieved by Women, featuring five pioneers who “weren’t just the first woman to achieve a milestone. They were just first.” Enjoy!