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Housewife wins Nobel

March 10, 2011

There are six times more men than women working in the fields of science and technology. Dorothy Hodgkin was one of them. She was born in Cairo to English expatriates. Her father was excavator and scholar of classics so she spent her early years in Asia Minor. She later moved to England to be educated under the influence of her parents’ puritan ethic, which reverberated in her later achievements. Encouraged by her mother, at the age of 18 she started studying chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, then one of the University of Oxford colleges for women only. Later she moved to Cambridge.

She is among pioneers of biochemistry. After being involved in developing x-ray crystallography, she made a number of significant discoveries, such as the structure of penicillin, insulin and vitamin B12. Not only Dorothy made significant contribution to science, she was also a great humanist and concerned about social rights. When Dorothy Hodgkin won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1964, Daily Mail announced the story under headline “Oxford housewife wins Nobel”


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