Marguerite Perey e Sonia Cotelle presso l'Institut du Radium a Parigi nel 1930. Crediti fotografia: Musée Curie (Coll. ACJC). Crediti Tavola Periodica: IUPAC

Nature celebrates the women behind the periodic table (from Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Annette Lykknes)

Monday, 11 March, 2019

She (the Periodic Table) is 150 years old and the prestigious journal Nature celebrates the women behind Periodic Table (Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Annette Lykknes, 2019: "Celebrate the women behind the periodic table", Nature 565, 559-561).

Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Annette Lykknes spotlight some of the women who revolutionized our understanding of the elements. Marie Curie is the most celebrated, for her double Nobel-prizewinning research on radioactivity and for discovering polonium and radium. Stories of other women's roles are scarce. So, too, is an appreciation of the required skills, including tenacity and diligence in performing experiments, sifting through data and reassessing theories.

"As with the discoveries themselves, bringing these tales of female scientists to light has taken much teamwork, including by contributors Gisela Boeck, John Hudson, Claire Murray, Jessica Wade, Mary Mark Ockerbloom, Marelene Rayner-Canham, Geoffrey Rayner-Canham, Xavier Roqué, Matt Shindell and Ignacio Suay-Matallana.
Tracing women in the history of chemistry unveils a fuller picture of all the people working on scientific discoveries, from unpaid assistants and technicians to leaders of great labs. In this celebratory year of the periodic table, it is crucial to recognize how it has been built — and continues to be shaped — by these individual efforts and broad collaborations."

Read the paper!

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