Today, Google celebrates one of Britian’s most famous scientists – Dorothy Hodgkin. Remember in grade school when you did 3-D mapping of specific molecules? You can, in part, thank Dorothy Hodgkin, this incredibly influential British biochemist whose biggest contribution came in her mapping of molecules. Today, May 12, 2014 marks her 104th birthday, and the occasion was celebrated by Google by introducing a Dorothy Hodgkin themed Google Doodle.
Here is what you need to know about Nobel Laureate Dorothy Hodgkin:
1. She Was Born in Egypt
Dorothy Hodgkin was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1910. She was raised as a British expatriate in Egypt by her father John Winter Crowfoot, an archeologist and classics scholar, and her mother Grace Crowfoot, an expert on ancient Egyptian textiles.
During WWI she was sent to England to begin her formal education. Before college, she developed an interest in Chemistry, and while studying at Oxford she became dedicated to X-ray crystallography, the study and mapping of molecular form.
2. She 3-D Mapped Molecules
In 1934 and continuing on for many years, Hodgkin’s most renowned work involved the mapping of Insulin.
3. She Won the Nobel Prize in 1964
She is also the only British woman to have ever won a Nobel prize in science.
4. She Was Banned From Entering the U.S. Because of Her Communist Husband
During the height of the United States’ “red scare,” Dorothy Hodgkin was not allowed into the United States. Her husband had been a one-time member of the Communist Party, as had many of her friends and close relations. So, in 1953, as Hodgkin attempted to enter the country, she was denied a visa.
5. A Google Doodle Celebrated Her Birthday
In keeping with their attempt to highlight the achievements of great women in history, on May 12, Google celebrated Hodgkin’s 104th birthday with a Google Doodle. The sketch, which you can see above, mimics the mapping of a molecule.