Women During the Scientific Revolution

Essay by alias33 December 2004

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Society restricted women for centuries to never aspire to be more than dependent on a man. But many females during this time period were not satisfied, were not happy with being just a wife and mother, and longed for something to advance themselves in. Finally in the 17th and 18th centuries intellectual women began to shake off their shackles from the male sex and grasp onto the Scientific Method with eager hands. Even though their credibility was critisized and they were rarely aknowledged, women still held interest in many feilds of science, such as botany, physics, chemistry, biology, astrology, and medicine. Even though, women scientists helped further these feilds along with men, and in doing so had support and oppostion.

Since women wouldn't be likely to grow famous and fat off their discoveries, they observed and expirimented for the sheer pleasure and knowledge to be gained. One of these individuals is Marie Cunitz, who studied astronomy, deeply entranced by the stars she scarcely slept during the night, and likewise, Maria Merian, e German entomologist who withdrew herdelf from society in general and studied the metamorphosis of caterpillars.

These women were submerged in their work. Some women also shared the spotlight with their husbands, the husbands being thought the main source of knowledge. (not always true) Maria Winkellman, wife of Gottfried Kirch observed stars and found a comet in the sky, and also continued working on her husbands calendar of observations after his death. Along with this couple was Antione and Marie Lavoisier, who together found that water consisted of hydrogen and oxygen, and identified 23 elements. Johannes and Elizabetha Hevelius are pictured in doc. 4 collaborating in astronomical research. These duos, consisting of both male and female contributed much to science.

Those who supported women were usually women. Marie...