Science: Natural Science
Tikvah Alper was an outstanding radiobiologist who had to overcome many obstacles in her personal and professional life.
One of Israel’s foremost scientists and immunologists, Professor Ruth Arnon is the incumbent of the Paul Ehrlich Chair in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.
Charlotte Auerbach, ‘Lotte’ to her friends all over the world, was known above all for her discovery in 1941 that gene mutations can be artificially induced by treatment of Drosophila flies with a chemical substance, mustard gas. Later she became renowned for her profound knowledge of classical genetics and especially of mutation.
The decisions of Judge Barak-Ussoskin, who is known for her extraordinary patience and excellent judicial spirit, are outstanding for their innovative character, thoroughness, well-argued and scholarly reasoning based on national as well as international and theoretical experience, and for the stress they lay on human rights in the sphere of labor and employment. Her rulings undoubtedly have a critical influence on the development of labor law and labor relations in Israel.
Dutch-born Sarah Bavly was a pioneer nutritionist in the Yishuv who laid the groundwork for Israel's nutritional infrastructure and educational programming, directing Hadassah's hospital nutrition departments and school lunch programs, and establishing the State's first College of Nutrition.
Raissa Berg is an outstanding biologist and geneticist of international repute, a defender of human rights in the Soviet Union, an abstract painter and a writer.
A 1998 Israel Prize laureate for agricultural research, Professor Yehudith Birk of the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot is an internationally renowned biochemist.
For more than four decades geneticist Batsheva Bonne-Tamir has studied genetic markers and diseases among different population groups in Israel.
Brazil is home to the second largest Jewish community in South America. Jewish women played important roles in the absorption of Jewish immigrants from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, and also made important contributions to Brazilian intellectual and artistic life.
Varvara Brilliant-Lerman was a well-known plant physiologist in Russia. Her main works were devoted to the physiology of photosynthesis.
May Brodbeck, whose career in the sciences ran the gamut from teaching high school chemistry to exploring fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of human consciousness, was among the foremost American-born philosophers of science.
German-born scientist Edith Bülbring was renowned for her work in smooth muscle physiology, which paved the way for contemporary cellular investigations. She pursued this work through a large and flourishing large research group at Oxford University, which she led for seventeen years. In 1958 she was elected to the Royal Society.
In the radio series This I Believe, Gerty Cori, the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel prize, which she shared with her husband and lifelong collaborator, Carl Cori (1896–1984) in 1947, stated, “Honesty, which stands mostly for intellectual integrity, courage and kindness are still the virtues I admire, though with advancing years the emphasis has been slightly shifted and kindness seem more important to me than in my youth. The love for and dedication to one’s work seem to me to be the basis for happiness.”
Botanist Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan was one of the first and rare women who became part of the academic staff at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the days when very few women had scientific careers, not only locally but also worldwide. For more than six decades she studied the flora of Israel and published dozens of articles and several analytical flora books. At the age of ninety-one she received the 1991 Israel Prize for her unique contribution to Land of Israel studies.
An influential British physical chemist, Rosalind Elsie Franklin’s essential innovations in DNA research, including her X-ray DNA photography and her work in distinguishing between “A” and “B” forms of DNA, allowed Frances Crick and James Watson to solve the structure of DNA as early as 1953. Her important role in their work went largely unacknowledged until the 1990s.
Cell biologist and immunologist Charlotte Friend discovered a virus that could transmit leukemia and made major contributions to our understanding of cancer and its causes. She served as director of the Center for Experimental Cell Biology at Mount Sinai Medical School, and later as the president of the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Association for Cancer Research.
Elisabeth Goldschmidt was the founder of genetic studies as a research and teaching discipline at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Botanist Chaia Clara Heyn was born on June 13, 1924, in Cluj (Transylvania), Romania, to Paul-Pinchas (1889–1948) and Sima (née Grünfeld, 1895–1990) Blau, who also had a son, Jehoshua. Theirs was an affluent Jewish family. Paul Blau had a doctorate in international relations and worked as a journalist and businessman, while Sima was a homemaker. In 1931 the family moved to Baden, Austria, relocating to Vienna in 1937. One year later, in response to the Anschluss, the Blaus immigrated to Mandatory Palestine.
Physiologist, physician and teacher, Rahel Hirsch was the granddaughter of Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808–1888), the founder and spiritual leader of neo-Orthodoxy and one of the major rabbinical figures of the nineteenth century. Born in Frankfurt am Main on September 15, 1870, one of the eleven children of Dr. Mendel Hirsch, Rahel grew up in a cultured, Jewishly knowledgeable family. Her father, who was the principal of the Jewish community’s Realschule and a leading figure in the strictly Orthodox Jewish community, ensured that she receive good schooling by sending her to a girls’ school in her native city. Since women were not yet admitted to German universities, Rahel went to the teachers’ seminary in Wiesbaden, where she received her teaching certificate in May 1889. For want of any alternative, she taught until 1898, but since she longed to be a physician she went to Zürich, where women had been admitted to medical school since 1840. However, when German universities followed suit, she returned, studying first in Leipzig and later, from November 1900, in Strassburg. Here she passed the state examination in July 1903, wrote her dissertation on the impact of glucose and was immediately licensed as a physician.
Physiologist Ida Henrietta Hyde’s proudest accomplishment wasn’t her pioneering research—it was her work on behalf of other women scientists. In 1896, she conducted research at the Zoological Station in Naples, Italy, after completing her Ph.D. in Heidelberg, Germany. The next year, she persuaded America’s foremost women educators and philanthropists to make this opportunity available to other American women scientists. The group she founded was known as the Naples Table Association for Promoting Scientific Research by Women. Using a subscription system, the group raised five hundred dollars annually to fund a research “table,” actually a small laboratory, where thirty-six American women in all benefited from Hyde’s vision.
Libbie Henrietta Hyman spent her career researching and writing the definitive texts on invertebrates, a monumental effort. Hyman transformed her love of the soft creatures to texts that brought her international recognition as an expert on invertebrates and as the world authority on flatworms.
The first woman to be awarded a doctorate in physical chemistry at a German university, Clara Immerwahr’s her achievements were long overlooked by male-dominated university circles. Immerwahr committed suicide in protest of her husband’s involvement in the implementation of gas attacks during World War I. Recognized only posthumously, her name has become linked with moral responsibility in science.