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Women in the Scientific Revolution

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Jenny Truong

on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of Women in the Scientific Revolution

Historical Background most intellectual professions were closed to women
most women had domestic jobs that did not require an education
women aided their husbands and male relatives in maintaining their farms or small businesses
the 16th century saw a shift in focus from academics to more "useful" skills such as embroidery and music Women's Role in the Scientific Revolution the same factors that had excluded women from intellectual life continued to exclude them from the emerging world of natural philosophy
until the end of the 19th century women would be prohibited from European universities, an institution traditionally viewed as a place for celibate males
although noblewomen could influence princely courts, they did not determine the decisions being made
like universities, scientific societies did not permit female membership French Academy of Science Women's Contributions Despite Their Setbacks Women could only contribute through their husbands or male relatives.
1. Noblewomen
social standing gave them access to their husband's social circle of natural philosophers
2. Artisan Women
achieved greater freedom in the new science than noblewomen
many discussions of the new science took place in artisan workshops, where women were aiding their husbands or fathers
many artisan women took over the workshop after the death of their husbands Important Women of the Scientific Revolution: Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) privately tutored and widely read
English aristocrat, author, and scientist
published her own name at a time when most females published anonymously "...mad, conceited, ridiculous..." marriage to the duke of Newcastle introduced her to the world of natural philosophy
Margaret rejected the Aristotelianism and mechanical philosophy of the 17th century
criticized the views of Hobbes and Descartes
disagreed with the Royal Society of London for their fascination with scientific instruments rather than the resolution of practical problems Important Works by Margaret Cavendish "Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World" (1666)
"Observations Upon Experimental Philosophy" (1666)
"Grounds of Natural Philosophy" (1668) Important Women of the Scientific Revolution: Maria Winkelmann (1670-1720) discovered a comet in 1702; was not credited for this discovery until 1930
assisted her husband Gottfried Kirch, who was the official astronomer of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, in the development of an official calendar
applied permission to continue her husband's work after his death in 1710 on the basis that artisan women could take over their husband's workshops after their death
denied permission based solely on her gender
returned to the Berlin Academy as an assistant to her son; forced to leave Other Important Noblewomen of the Scientific Revolution 1. Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689)
brought Descartes to Stockholm to assist in the development of rules for the new science academy
2. Emilie du Chatelet (1706-1749)
aided Voltaire in his composition for Newtonian science
extensive mathematical knowledge proved key to the completion of his novel
translated Newton's "Principia" into French Other Important Artisan Women of the Scientific Revolution 1. Maria Cunitz (1610-1664)
German female astronomer who published a book many had believed her husband had written
one of the most notable female astronomers of the modern era
2. Elisabetha Hevelius (1647-1693)
worked jointly with her husband Johannes in astronomy Conclusion Despite their exclusion from the new science societies of the 17th centuries, women were able to overcome the gender barriers and contribute to the expansion of natural philosophy.
Although women made advances, it wasn't until the late 19th century that women were finally accepted into science and medicine.
In the 20th century, women began to enter the science fields in growing numbers. Berlin Academy of Science Queen Christina of Sweden Emilie du Chatelet Maria Cunitz Johannes and Elisabetha Hevelius
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