Thora Hardy

Last updated

Thora Margraff Plitt Hardy (31 July 1902 – 1 January 1993) was a US chemist born in Switzerland. [1] 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.

Barnard College private womens liberal arts college in the United States

Barnard College is a private women's liberal arts college located in Manhattan, New York City. Founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer, who named it after Columbia University's 10th president, Frederick Barnard, it is one of the oldest women's colleges in the world. The acceptance rate of the Class of 2022 was 13.7%, the most selective in the college's history.

Columbia University private Ivy League research university in New York City

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.

University of Chicago Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. The university is composed of an undergraduate college, various graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees organized into five academic research divisions and seven professional schools. Beyond the arts and sciences, Chicago is also well known for its professional schools, which include the Pritzker School of Medicine, the Booth School of Business, the Law School, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, the Divinity School and the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. The university holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.

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. [2] She assisted with Second World War efforts when she was requested to apply her studies of fur fibres for the armed forces. [3] She wrote several books including Microscopic Methods Used in Identifying Commercial Fibres published in 1939.

United States Department of Agriculture U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal government policy on farming, agriculture, forestry, and food

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally.

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. [4]

University of Missouri American public state university

The University of Missouri is a public, land-grant research university in Columbia, Missouri. It was founded in 1839 as the first public institution of higher education west of the Mississippi River. The state's largest university, it enrolled 30,870 students in 2017 and offered over 300 degree programs in 20 academic colleges. It is the flagship campus of the University of Missouri System, which also has campuses in Kansas City, Rolla, and St. Louis. There are more than 300,000 MU alumni living worldwide with over one half residing in Missouri.

Related Research Articles

Barbara McClintock American scientist and cytogeneticist

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.

Margaret Geller American astronomer

Margaret J. Geller is an American astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Her work has included pioneering maps of the nearby universe, studies of the relationship between galaxies and their environment, and the development and application of methods for measuring the distribution of matter in the universe.

Wanda Kirkbride Farr US botanist

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.

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.

Doctor of Philosophy Postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities in many countries

A Doctor of Philosophy is the highest university degree that is conferred after a course of study by universities in most English-speaking countries. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. As an earned research degree, those studying for a PhD are usually required to produce original research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation, and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD is often a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields. Individuals who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree may, in many jurisdictions, use the title Doctor or, in non-English-speaking countries, variants such as "Dr. phil." with their name, although the proper etiquette associated with this usage may also be subject to the professional ethics of their own scholarly field, culture, or society. Those who teach at universities or work in academic, educational, or research fields are usually addressed by this title "professionally and socially in a salutation or conversation." Alternatively, holders may use post-nominal letters such as "Ph.D.", "PhD", or "DPhil". It is, however, considered incorrect to use both the title and post-nominals at the same time.

Mary Stuart MacDougall American biologist

Mary Stuart MacDougall was an American biologist who studied protozoology. She wrote Biology: The Science of Life.

Florence Meier Chase American botanist

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 American astrophysicist and astronomer

Christine Jones Forman is a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She is currently President-elect of the American Astronomical Society, and the director of the Smithsonian Institution's Consortium for Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe.

Mary Hagedorn American physiologist

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.

Miriam Elizabeth Simpson American doctor and Professor of anatomy

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 American scientist

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.

Aditi Pant is an Indian oceanographer. She was the first Indian woman to visit Antarctica as part of the Indian Antarctic Program in 1983. She has held prominent positions at institutions including the National Institute of Oceanography, National Chemical Laboratory, University of Pune, and Maharashtra Academy of Sciences.

Bruce D. Smith American anthropologist

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 Funk American botanist (born 1947)

Vicki Ann Funk is a Senior Research Botanist and Curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. She is 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.[1][2][3]

Michèle Tertilt is a German Professor of Economics at the University of Mannheim. She is currently an Editorial Board Member at the Review of Economic Studies and Associate Editor of the Journal of Development Economics. In 2017 she received the Yrjö Jahnsson Award - a biennial award by the European Economic Association and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation to a European economist no older than 45 years old who has made a contribution in theoretical and applied research that is significant to economics in Europe. In September 2013 she was awarded the Gossen Prize - an annual award by the Verein für Socialpolitik which recognizes the best published economist under 45 working in the German speaking area. Michèle Tertilt is the first women to win this prestigious German prize in Economics.

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 E. Rice

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.


  1. "Thora Marggraff (Plitt) Hardy". Penn State. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  2. Rossiter, Ogilvie, Hardy, Margaret, Marilyn, Joy (2000). The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science. Routledge. p. 1132.
  3. "Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520". Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  4. "Division of Biological Sciences, Endowed Funds". University of Missouri. Retrieved 13 May 2014.