Video series highlights pioneering women chemists
One was crucial to the U.S. space program, another refined the treatment for leprosy (before dying at 24) and the research of the third was one launched a significant agricultural industry in the Midwest. All of them scientists, all of them women.
Mary Sherman Morgan, Alice Ball and Rachel Lloyd.
If you've never before heard of these groundbreaking chemists, you are not alone. That's one of the reasons it is part of the video series, Reactions, produced by the American Chemical Society, and focused on uncovering everyday chemistry via its YouTube channel.
The video "The Woman Who Saved the U.S. Space Race (And Other Unsung Scientists)" was released Feb. 2, and joins other titles like: Chemistry Life Hacks for Winter Survival and Tricking the Nazis and Transforming Medicine.
According to a New York Times article of 2013, "the most powerful determinant of whether a woman goes on in science might be whether anyone encourages her to go on," and by exploring the contributions of women to be considered role models in chemistry — one of them a young African-American woman — the new video may provide just that encouragement to girls considering the profession.
And for the rest of us? It's the cool, too-often-hidden history of women in science that deserves to be better known.