The Remarkable Life and Career of Ellen Swallow Richards. Pioneer in Science and Technology

  • ID: 2866042
  • Book
  • 192 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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The Woman Who Paved the Way for Ecology, Euthenics and Women to Enter Numerous Fields of Science

In March 2009, in launching Women′s History Month, U.S. President Barack Obama honored five "Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet." His first tribute was to Ellen Swallow Richards (1842–1911), who is known as the first woman accepted at a scientific institution and to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873. Richards left behind a legacy of pioneering new branches of science, championing efforts for a cleaner environment, and opening doors for women to enter disciplines previously believed to be the domain of men.

Taking the reader from Richards childhood on a Massachusetts farm where she was home–schooled, to her internationally renowned successes in the sciences, The Remarkable Life and Career of Ellen Swallow Richards:Pioneer in Science and Technology highlights the achievements of America′s first professional, degreed female scientist. Of her many achievements, the book covers Richards research in water studies that led to the nation s first state water–quality standards and first modern sewage treatment plant; her development of the Normal Chlorine Map, the first map of water pollution in the United States; her food testing project that resulted in discovery of countless contaminations and led to the first food and drug acts; coinage of the terms ecology and euthenics, her career at MIT as the only female instructor, and more.

In a time when the field of science and technology was not fashionable for women prospects, Ellen Swallow Richards paved the way for women to become chemists, biologists, geologists, ecologists, nutritionists, dietitians, science teachers, professors, and home economists. MIT reports today that women make up nearly half its student body and more than 200 in faculty members. This biographical story of Ellen Swallow Richards is invaluable for schools, colleges, and libraries searching for more books about women who broke academic and social barriers with their determination and successes.

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Foreword xi

Prologue xiii

Chapter 1 Ellencyclopedia 1

Chapter 2 Westford Ho 9

Chapter 3 Faith in Her Star 15

Chapter 4 Setting Sights 21

Chapter 5 Women Studying Together 25

Chapter 6 No Wasted Minutes 29

Chapter 7 She Will Not Fail 35

Chapter 8 Uncharted Ground 39

Chapter 9 Water Water Everywhere! 45

Chapter 10 Cupid Pops into the Laboratory 51

Chapter 11 Applied Scientists at Work 57

Chapter 12 The Woman′s [sic] Laboratory 65

Chapter 13 Long–Distance Learning 73

Chapter 14 MIT′s First Woman Instructor 79

Chapter 15 Pioneer for Public Health 85

Chapter 16 Under Water Again 89

Chapter 17 Environmental Activist 93

Chapter 18 Ever on the Go 97

Chapter 19 Health Food Kitchens 101

Chapter 20 Healthier School Lunches Sharper Minds 111

Chapter 21 Launching a New Movement 115

Chapter 22 At Work to the End 121

Epilogue 133

Acknowledgments 135

Author′s Note 137

Ellen Swallow Richards Time Line 139

Source Notes 143

Selected Bibliography 169

Index 173

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Pamela Curtis Swallow received her B.A. at Skidmore College, NYU and her MLIS at Rutgers University School of Library and Information Science. Formerly a school librarian, English teacher and History teacher, she is a full time writer and author of ten published books of fiction and non–fiction. Swallow is Ellen Swallow Richards′s first cousin,three generations removed.

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