Posts Tagged ‘science’

Marie Curie, née Sklodowska, is probably the most famous woman of science ever. She engaged in “groundbreaking work on radioactivity”, and became the first person to win the Nobel Prize in two different fields.

“In July 1898, Marie along with her husband Pierre Curie, announced the discovery of a new chemical polonium, naming it after her native country Poland. The same year, the Curies discovered radium.

“In 1903, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics alongside Pierre and Henri Becquerel. Eight years later, she won her second Nobel Prize in Chemistry.”

It’s less well known that she was a major hero of World War I.

“At the start of the war, X-ray machines were still found only in city hospitals, far from the battlefields where wounded troops were being treated. Curie’s solution was to invent the first ‘radiological car’ – a vehicle containing an X-ray machine and photographic darkroom equipment – which could be driven right up to the battlefield where army surgeons could use X-rays to guide their surgeries.

“One major obstacle was the need for electrical power to produce the X-rays. Curie solved that problem by incorporating a dynamo – a type of electrical generator – into the car’s design. The petroleum-powered car engine could thus provide the required electricity.

Eventually, using her fame, “she had 20, which she outfitted with X-ray equipment. But the cars were useless without trained X-ray operators, so Curie started to train women volunteers. She recruited 20 women for the first training course, which she taught along with her daughter Irene, a future Nobel Prize winner herself.”

“Not content just to send out her [eventually 150] trainees…, Curie herself had her own ‘little Curie’ – as the radiological cars were nicknamed – that she took to the front. This required her to learn to drive, change flat tires and even master some rudimentary auto mechanics, like cleaning carburetors.”

Yet she experienced the Matilda Effect, the marginalizing of women in science, named for Matilda Gage, an early suffragette. The French Academy of Sciences, founded in 1666, excluded women, such as Marie Curie, though her husband got in, Nobel winner Irène Joliot-Curie, and mathematician Sophie Germain, for nearly three centuries. “The first woman admitted as a correspondent member was a student of Curie’s, Marguerite Perey, in 1962.”

Marie Curie is included in the 2018 book She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History by Chelsea Clinton.

For ABC Wednesday

For Ask Roger Anything, Chris asks:

How do you spiritually reconcile your faith with your acceptance of science?

I don’t really see a problem with this. Faith is what I believe, and science is what I know, or what is reasonably knowable. There’s no contradiction. My running joke used to be “God allowed the Big Bang,” which is overly simplistic, I suppose.

This Slate story about a 2015 Pew Research Center survey on religion and science, indicates: “Highly religious Americans are less likely than others to see conflict between faith and science.”

I think this is true: “The people who are farther away from religion themselves tend to see stronger conflict, because they’re not as close to actual religious people… They aren’t seeing all those people who don’t have a conflict.”

The problem happens, I think, when people use, for instance, the Bible as a history book – mostly, it is not – or as science book – surely, it is NOT – rather than as a series of stories, written by a bunch of different writers, over a long period, that help shape a theology.

And of course, this was established long ago, well before Galileo and Copernicus got jammed up with their heliocentric “heresy”.

Currently, “the media tends to focus on those rare flashpoints of controversy, such as fights over evolution and the content of science textbooks, and to highlight the most outspoken conservative fundamentalists. For the nonreligious, these strong voices become the faces of religion, and these flashpoints become evidence that religion and science are in conflict. In fact, religious Americans by and large support science.”

What was your favorite or most memorable science demo as a kid?

It was almost certainly at the Corning Museum of Glass, an hour west of Binghamton, with a bunch of “I didn’t know they could do THAT with glass” moments. We went there at least four times before in 1972, when it was damaged in the flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes and was subsequently rebuilt.

henry2
Joseph Henry (December 17, 1797 – May 13, 1878) was born in Albany, New York, to William and Ann Henry, two immigrants from Scotland. “In 1819 he was persuaded by some influential friends to pursue a more academic career, he entered Albany Academy, where he was given free tuition. He was so poor, even with free tuition, Joseph Henry had to support himself with teaching and private tutoring positions.”

Henry excelled academically. He “discovered the electromagnetic phenomenon of self-inductance,” Read the rest of this entry »

cher-dyingMore Ask Roger Anything questions from Chris:

How do you explain to your daughter how to vet sources?

It must be from example. Just recently, my daughter said, of a tabloid cover in the supermarket, “Cher isn’t really dying, is she?” We watch a couple news networks, plus Comedy Central, not every day, but often enough, so she can clearly see that shows often offer different emphases.

In your opinion, is Wikipedia a reliable source?
Read the rest of this entry »

stardancerSome months ago, I read, and enjoyed Stardancer (The Song of Forgotten Stars Book 1), the first book by Jaquandor, a/k/a Kelly Sedinger, quite a lot, actually. And it won’t be his last book, judging by his Forgotten Stars website. In fact, the second book in this series is coming out this week.

Read SamuraiFrog’s review and the Amazon customer reviews. One line of a five-star review: “What will hold most readers Read the rest of this entry »

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