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“Early Women in Science” Profiles Trailblazing Women

By Marilyn Scallan Epstein

Mary Jane Rathbun (1860-1943), Smithsonian Institution Archives. Image SIA2009-2095.

Mary Jane Rathbun (1860-1943),
Smithsonian Institution Archives. Image SIA2009-2095.

“Early Women in Science” is an online exhibition of 16 women scientists who began their work before 1922. A Biodiversity Heritage Library exhibition, it profiles forward-thinking women in various scientific fields who advocated for protecting forests and pollinating insects and warned against the use of heavy pesticides—topics that remain relevant today.

Pictured here is Mary Jane Rathbun, who had a lifelong passion for the study of crustaceans. After working for years as a zoological classifier, she eventually was hired by the Smithsonian; after 28 years, she was made assistant curator of the Division of Crustacea.

Smithsonian Libraries is a founding member of BHL, a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries.

Click here to read about the other women scientists featured in the exhibition.

 

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