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Vol. 26 No. 6
November-December 2004

Internet Connection | Providing brief overviews of helpful chemistry resources on the Web.

The Exhibit Online

The companion Web site to Her Lab in Your Life allows virtual visitors from across the globe to “visit” the exhibition and to learn more about the ways women chemists have helped change the modern world. The site will eventually include teaching materials, expanded biographies, and links to additional Web resources.

Online, the 12 themes are presented independently, and from each of these sections, one can meet women who pioneered the discipline:

Body—Life is a chemical process, and the human body a fascinating and complex chemical system. Here, you can take a breath of fresh air with Ruth Erica Benesch, walk in the park with Judith P. Klinman, or feel the electricity with Jacqueline Barton.

Medicines—Chemistry is used to track down new treatments and manufacture cures. Meet here women chemists who helped develop and mass-produce life-saving drugs from penicillin to protease inhibitors.

Health & Safety Sanitation—Clean water, wholesome groceries, and safe workplaces are often taken for granted nowadays, but women chemists established many of the standards in sanitation and public health. Go from here to test the waters with Kathryn Hach-Darrow.

Environment—Protecting the environment requires knowledge-especially knowledge of chemistry. While certain chemicals can damage the environment, chemistry is required to identify the problems, detect the pollutants, clean up the mess, and prevent future problems. Go clean up the air with Kathleen C. Taylor, and see how Diane Gates-Anderson found chemical solutions to chemical problems in managing safe disposal of harmful pollutants.

Food—From the chemical analysis needed to structure nutritional diets for low-income families to the invention of xanthan gum, women chemists have continually put food on the table.

Style—Women chemists have put their skills to work in today’s fashion industry, using chemical processes to create new materials and improved fabrics.

Computer—Chips help you drive your car, cook your food, play your music, power your cellular phone, and more. Chips are made of semiconductor materials and in that industry, every step is a chemical step. Here Elsa Reichmanis and Jennie Hwang will show you that small is powerful. Women chemists like them have helped develop and advance the world of semiconductors.

Stuff—Creating and/or improving everyday products is another thing that chemists do well. Check out the work of these women chemists who made high-tech fibers, wrinkle-free, stain- or flame-resistant fabrics, or even synthetic bones.

Finally there is more in Universe—Here, discovery is portrayed as a thrill that drives many women chemists in pursuit of their science; in Challenges—where you can meet the first women chemists who faced daunting professional and social challenges, but whose desire and determination gave them the strength to overcome these obstacles; Knowledge—presents what hard work it took for chemists, as teachers, writers, and advocates, to ensure girls’ inclusion in the chemistry classroom; and finally Career—illustrates the many places that chemistry as a career can take you.

www.chemheritage.org/women_chemistry


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