Thora Margraff Plitt Hardy (31 July 1902 – 1 January 1993) was a US chemist born in Switzerland.She was educated at Barnard College, Columbia University from where she graduated in 1925. Afterwards she worked as a New York City high school teacher from 1925–29. She returned to academia at the University of Chicago to start her PhD studies in 1932. Following completion of her PhD in 1935 she worked for a time as a botany instructor but saw little opportunity to progress.
Subsequently she worked with the US Government, first with the National Bureau of Standards and then at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) until she left in 1951. Her work focussed on plant microchemistry and the physiology and microscopic analysis of commercial furs.She assisted with Second World War efforts when she was requested to apply her studies of fur fibres for the armed forces. She wrote several books including Microscopic Methods Used in Identifying Commercial Fibres published in 1939.
A cash award is made available at the University of Missouri by an endowment established by Thora Hardy in memory of her husband, John I. Hardy. The award is bestowed on an undergraduate to recognize their academic achievements, the quality of their independent research projects, and their extracurricular contributions.
Barbara McClintock was an American scientist and cytogeneticist who was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. McClintock received her PhD in botany from Cornell University in 1927. There she started her career as the leader in the development of maize cytogenetics, the focus of her research for the rest of her life. From the late 1920s, McClintock studied chromosomes and how they change during reproduction in maize. She developed the technique for visualizing maize chromosomes and used microscopic analysis to demonstrate many fundamental genetic ideas. One of those ideas was the notion of genetic recombination by crossing-over during meiosis—a mechanism by which chromosomes exchange information. She produced the first genetic map for maize, linking regions of the chromosome to physical traits. She demonstrated the role of the telomere and centromere, regions of the chromosome that are important in the conservation of genetic information. She was recognized as among the best in the field, awarded prestigious fellowships, and elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1944.
Mary Frances Lyon was an English geneticist, best known for her discovery of X-chromosome inactivation, an important biological phenomenon.
Janet Davison Rowley was an American human geneticist and the first scientist to identify a chromosomal translocation as the cause of leukemia and other cancers. This proved that cancer is a genetic disease. Rowley spent majority of her life working in Chicago and received many awards and honors throughout her life, recognizing her achievements and contributions tin the area of genetics.
Wanda K. Farr was an American botanist known for her discovery of the mechanism by which cellulose is formed in the walls of plant cells.
Annie Heloise Abel was among the earliest professional historians to study Native Americans. She was one of the first thirty women in the United States to earn a PhD in history. One of the ablest historians of her day, Abel was an expert on the history of British and American Indian policies. As another historian has put it: "She was the first academically trained historian in the United States to consider the development of Indian-white relations and, although her focus was narrowly political and her methodology almost entirely archival-based, in this she was a pioneer."
Dr. Sara C. Bisel (1932–1996) was a physical anthropologist and classical archaeologist who played a prominent role in early scientific research at Herculaneum, a Mediterranean coastal town destroyed by the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Her pioneering work in the chemical and physical analysis of skeletons yielded new insights into the nutrition and health of ancient populations. This was considered ground-breaking and helped advance the field of paleodemography.
Waldo Rudolph Wedel was an American archaeologist and a central figure in the study of the prehistory of the Great Plains. He was born in Newton, Kansas to a family of Mennonites. In 1939 he married Mildred Mott, a fellow archaeologist and ethnohistorian. Wedel died in 1996 in Boulder, Colorado, about one year after Mildred's death.
Mary Stuart MacDougall was an American biologist who studied protozoology. She wrote Biology: The Science of Life.
Florence Meier Chase was an American botanist who researched the interaction of sunlight and algae at the Smithsonian. She was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an honorary member of the Washington Botanical Society. She was married to Dr. William Wiley Chase.
Shashi Wadhwa is the dean of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Her major research interests are developmental neurobiology, quantitative morphology and electron microscopy. Her laboratory mainly focussed on the developing human brain.
Christine Jones Forman is a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She is currently the past president of the American Astronomical Society, and the director of the Smithsonian Institution's Consortium for Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe.
Mary Margaret Hagedorn is a US marine biologist specialised in physiology who has developed a conservation program for coral species, using the principles of cryobiology, the study of cellular systems under cold conditions, and cryopreservation, the freezing of sperm and embryos.
Charlotte Gower Chapman, born Charlotte Day Gower, was an ethnologist and an author. In 1928, she received a Ph.D in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Later on while working at Lingnan University in China during World War II she was taken prisoner by the Japanese when the US entered the war, but was released by 1942. After, she joined the United States Marine Corps and worked in the Office of Strategic Services until 1947 when she became an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency until her retirement in 1964.
Miriam Elizabeth Simpson was an American scientist who in 1921 earned the first Ph.D. in anatomy conferred from the University of California. Two years later, she was awarded Doctor of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University (1923).
Eva J. Pell is a biologist, plant pathologist, and science administrator. Pell's research focused on the physiological and biochemical impacts of air pollutants on vegetation. As a science administrator at Pennsylvania State University and the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Pell initiated several pan-institutional science institutes. Since leaving the Smithsonian, she is developing a series of adventure stories for elementary school children with the theme rescuing endangered species.
Bruce D. Smith is an American archaeologist and curator at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History who primarily focuses on the interaction of humans with their environment, especially the origins of agriculture in eastern North America agricultural complex.
Vicki Ann Funk was a Senior Research Botanist and Curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, known for her work on members of the composite family (Asteraceae) including collecting plants in many parts of the world, as well as her synthetic work on phylogenetics and biogeography.
Carla J. Dove is an American researcher who specializes in identifying birds that have gotten trapped in airplane engines, known as bird strikes. She is currently the Program Manager for Feather Identification Lab in the Division of Birds at the National Museum of Natural History. Her work helps promote wildlife safety, as well as pave the way for the development of preventative measures that will decrease the chance of wildlife impacting airplanes. She has published over 40 articles on her research so far.
Mary Esther Rice is an American invertebrate zoologist specializing in systematics, evolution and the development of marine invertebrates. She worked at the Smithsonian Institution as a curator, educator, research advisor, and administrator from 1966 until her retirement in 2002. She is known for her work on the life histories of Sipuncula, as well as for serving as the first director of the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.
Beryl Brintnall Simpson is a professor emeritus in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously she was an associate curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in the Department of Botany. She studies tropical botany, focusing on angiosperms found in the American Southwest, Mexico, and Central and South America. She was awarded the José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany for her decades of work on the subject.