The 2015 Nobel Prize-Recognizing the Global Impact of Science

On October 5th, 2015 the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura for “their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites” and awarded to Youyou Tu for “her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria”. These three scientists were instrumental in identifying the compounds now used as standard of care for many parasitic diseases.

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The winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Picture from nobelprize.org

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The women who shaped science: Ada Lovelace – The first programmer

Ada Augusta Byron, the Countess of Lovelace, was born in London on December 10th 1815. She was the daughter of the celebrated English poet Lord Byron and Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron. Her father moved away shortly after Ada’s birth when her parents separated. Her mother Lady Byron, who was a mathematician, brought her up. Ada had an unconventional upbringing for a noble woman of her time, encouraged to study science and mathematics, fields which were exclusively reserved for men. Continue reading

The women who shaped science: Maria Mitchell – The first female astronomer in the US

Maria Mitchell was born in Nantucket on November 1st, 1818. She was one of nine children to William and Lydia Mitchell and was raised as a Quaker. At a young age she already exhibited an avid curiosity and a passion for learning. As a Quaker, her parents believed in equal rights in the education of both men and women. Her father was an astronomer and a teacher, and had a meaningful impact on Maria’s curiosity for the stars by giving her first telescope and having her assist him in his work. Continue reading