Women's History Month's Scientist of the Day: Ellen Swallow Richards (1842 - 1911)

Ellen Swallow Richards one of the many unsung women of science helped pave the way for women to study science in the U.S.  Not only was she the first woman professional chemist in the U.S., she was also the first woman to study — and later teach — at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( Unfortunately MIT refused to give her a doctorate degree, but Vassar didn't). At MIT, she applied scientific principles to domestic life, pioneering the study of "home economics." She also thought about air, water and food in new ways, prompting the creation of national public health standards. Her work led to sanitary engineering and nutrition becoming their own disciplines. And if you're still not impressed, she also introduced the word "ecology" into English and pushed for the relationship between people and nature to be studied as an environmental science. Ellen Swallow Richards, the Rosalind Franklin Society salutes you as a changemaker and innovator. Thank you for what you have done for women of science.