The Liz Library presents Irene Stuber's Women of Achievement

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July 15

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber.

Her supervisor got the Nobel for her work


QUOTE by Denise Scott Brown.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell's amazing discovery was confiscated by her supervisor who then won the Pulitzer Prize for it. That's a bit simplistically put, but does describe essentially what happened.
      Born 07-15-1943, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, British astronomer and educator discovered pulsating radio stars or pulsars at age 24. The discovery enabled her supervisor Antony Hewish to win the Nobel Prize in physics in 1974.
      She received no credit from the Nobel committee although the year before the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia had awarded the prestigious Michelson Medal to both Hewish and Bell.
      At the time and in subsequent interviews, Bell (who wanted to continue on the field) said that it would have been unseemly for a 24-year-old to receive such honors.
      Hewish made his theory announcement in 1968 after his recommendation that JBB BURY her pulsar discovery information in the appendix of her doctoral dissertation.
      Bell has proved her discovery at 24 was no fluke by becoming only one of two women in Great Britain to hold the position of full professor of physics. She has received a number of the most prestigious awards in astronomy.
      A mother, she changed jobs and locations many times for her husband, but they eventually divorced in 1989.
      JBB is a world-renowned expert in X-ray astronomy. Several authorities have claimed that Bell Burnell's discovery that pulsars were keeping sidereal time was crucial and that once made, the rest of Hewish's theory was obvious.
      A Quaker, JBB's self-effacing attitude is in keeping with her faith.

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B. 07-15-1793, Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps - U.S. educator and author. A penniless widow with two small children, AHL began teaching to support them. She wrote several science textbooks while sharing teaching and administrative responsibilities with her noted educator-sister Emma Willard.
      Her book Botany went into nine editions, selling 275,000 copies. Her science textbooks led to her election in 1859 as the second woman member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the first being astronomer Maria Mitchell. Amazingly both she and her sister opposed woman's suffrage.

CabriniMother.JPGB. 07-15-1850, Frances Xavier "Mother" Cabrini - Italian-born U.S. nun. FXC, an amazing organizer, Cabrini was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
      She founded 67 institutions such as orphanages, hospitals, and girls' schools and did remarkable work with the poor in major American cities.

wealkermaggielena-r.gifB. 07-15-1867, Maggie Lena Walker - U.S. banker. MLW was the daughter of a former slave who devoted her time to black fraternal and cooperative insurance organizations.
      Through her very keen business acumen, MLW created one of the greatest black-owned banks in the nation, the Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, Va.

B. 07-15-1883, Eleanora Frances Bliss Knopf - U.S. geologist who analyzed metamorphic rock and authored the classic Structural Petrology (1938).

DIED 07-15-1885, Rosal¡a de Castro - major Spanish writer of novels. RC is best known for her poetry composed in the Galician language. Her later works were more personal, describing frustration and discouragement.

B. 07-15-1904, Dorothy Fields - U.S. lyricist and producer who was elected to the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 1971, the first woman so honored. Some of her songs are "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "I'm in the Mood for Love," "Lovely to Look at," and "The Way You Look Tonight."
      The way you look garnered Fields the 1936 Academy Award. She wrote almost 400 songs as well as books for Broadway shows including Annie Get Your Gun.
      She won a Tony and Grammy for her work on Redhead (1959). DF produced such Broadway musicals as Sweet Charity and Seesaw.

B. 07-15-1919, Dame Iris Murdoch - British author. Prolific and talented, IM taught modern philosophy at Oxford University 1948-1963. Her novels The Bell (1958) and The Message to the Plant (1990) are her her best known works.

B. 07-15-1946, Linda Ronstadt, very popular U.S. Country-rock-Latino singer.

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      "At about five I knew I was going to be an architect because my mother had studied architecture. I thought it was women's work. I had a proprietary feeling about architecture. I could own it because my mother owned it."
            -- Denise Scott Brown, architect, urban planner, teacher, and writer.

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© 1990-2006 Irene Stuber, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902. Originally web-published at We are indebted to Irene Stuber for compiling this collection and for granting us permission to make it available again. The text of the documents may be freely copied for nonprofit educational use. Except as otherwise noted, all contents in this collection are © 1998-2009 the liz library.  All rights reserved. This site is hosted and maintained by the liz library.