Portraits of women scientists from the Smithsonian

Women in Science: Portraits of Women Scientists From the Smithsonian.

Curie The Smithsonian Institution has been uploading some of their extensive collection of historical photographs to Flickr. One of their sets is a collection of portraits of scientists and inventors. While most of the pictured scientists are bewhiskered men, there are a few women in the set. I know that Marie Sklodowska Curie is one of the most famous women in physics and probably I should have chosen a more obscure person to feature in a picture here, but her face is just so striking. From the Women in Science post: "She was born in Warsaw in 1867 and received a general education there. She eventually ended up at the Sorbonne in Paris, where she earned degrees in physics and mathematical sciencies – and met her husband, Physics Professor Pierre Curie. The Curies initially worked together in their research on radioactive elements, but after Pierre was killed in an accident in 1906, she continued the research on her own. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre and Antoine Becquerel for their "research on the radiation phenomena". Maria Curie also received the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her discovery and characterization of radium. She died in 1934 of aplastic anaemia, likely caused by radiation exposure, missing by only a single year the award of the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to her daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie."

The Nobel prizes for 2008 are about to be announced, starting on Monday (6 Oct) with the the prize for physiology or medicine. See here for some predictions of the winners, and where to log your own choices. It will be interesting to see if any women are honoured this year, or whether the Nobel foundation will keep to its rather dismal track record in this regard.

From Mongolia by way of northern England

The Carnival of the Criminal Minds has arrived at Michael Walters's blog. Michael is the author of the very good The Shadow Walker and The Adversary, as well as the forthcoming The Outcast, a series set in Mongolia. In a post packed with leads to both books and blogs, Michael writes: "the value of crime fiction blogging is that it provides space and resource to deal with a strand of fiction that generally receives limited, often ghettoised coverage in the mainstream media.  Mind you, we perhaps shouldn’t overstate that particular grievance – I’m very conscious that, by dint of the specialised crime fiction columns, my first two books received coverage in the mainstream press that many first-time literary novelists would kill for.  But there’s no doubt that many excellent blogs provide coverage that could simply never be offered by the conventional media.  And their influence is growing, as more readers discover them and publishers begin to recognise that this is a phenomenon that can’t be ignored." 

I also can't resist quoting this passage about the excellent resource, Euro Crime, and three of its regular bloggers! "Let’s start with Karen Meek’s extraordinary labour of love, Eurocrime, which posts a weekly selection of reviews. Not only does the site devote considerably more space to the reviews than would be available in any generalist publication, but the reviews themselves are typically detailed, balanced and thoughtful. Selecting any individual example is invidious, but as illustration consider this current one by Maxine Clarke of Petrona or this one by Sunnie Gill of Sunnie’s Book Blog. The reviews are sometimes less polished than one might find in a conventional magazine, but there’s a refreshing care and honesty about the critical responses. There’s a similar thoughtfulness in Uriah Robinson’s latest posting on his Crime Scraps blog – a review of Philip Kerr’s March Violets which not only tells you everything you need to know about the book but also links it pertinently to the recent Austrian elections."

Links to the book reviews, blogs and sites mentioned are provided at the "carnival" blog post, where there are also leads to other online gems, not least to Colin Cotterill's cartoons.