POV Quiz Women in Science DBQ Prompt: Analyze and discuss attitudes and reactions toward the participation of women in the sciences during the 17th and 18th centuries. Historical background: While rarely acknowledged, women actively participated in scientific research in chemistry, astronomy, biology, botany, physics, and medicine. Although most European universities and academies of science excluded women entirely, in Italy a few women held professorships in science and mathematics.
Women translated scieitific works on physics, astronomy, entomology, and anatomy; they also participated in scientific discussions held in salons. | Document 1 | | Source: Johann Eberti, describing the German astronomer Marie Cunitz, whose 1650 book on astronomical tables clarified the work of | |Johannes Kepler | |She was so deeply engaged in astronomical speculation that she neglected her household.
The daylight hours she spent, for the most part, in| |bed because she had tired herself from watching the stars ar night. | | | |Document 2 | | Source: Marie Meurdrac, French scientist, foreward to her “Chemistry Simplified for Women” 16666 | |When I began this little treatise, it was solely for my own satisfaction.
I objected to myself that it was not the profession of a lady to | |teach; that she should remain silent, listen and learn, without displaying her own knowledge. On the other hand, I flattered myself that I | |am not the first lady to have had something published; that minds have no sex and that if the minds of women were cultivated like those of | |men, they would be equal to the minds of the latter. | | | |Document 3 | Source: Samuel Pepys, English diarist, 1667 | |After dinner, I walked to a meeting of the Royal Society of Scientists in expectation of the duchess of Newcastle (author of “A World Made | |by Atomes,” 1653), who had desired to be invited to the Society. She ws invited after much debate, pro and con; it seems many being against| |it.
The duchess hath been a good, comely woman; but her dress so antique and her deportment so ordinary, that I do not like her at all, nor| |did I hear her say anything that was worth hearing. | | | |Document 4 | |Source: Johannes and Elisabetha Hevelius using a sextant to collaborate on astronomical research.
Johanes Hevelius, “The Heavenly Machine,”| |1673 | | | | | | | | | Document 5 | | Source: Maria Sibylla Merian, German entomologist, “Wonderful Metamorphoses and Special Nourishment of Caterpillars,” 1679 | |Since my youth, I have studied insects. When I realized that butterflies and moths develop more quickly than other caterpillars, I | |collected all the caterpillars that I could find, in order to observe their metamorphosis.
Thus, I withdrew from human society and engaged | |exclusively in these investigations. In addition, I learned the art of drawing so that I could draw and describe them as they were in | |nature. | | | |Document 6 | | Source: Gottfried Kirch, German astronomer, husband of Maria Winkelmann, 1680 | |Early in the morning (about 2:00 a. . ), the sky was clear and starry. Some nights before, I had observed a variable star, and my wife (as I| |slept) wanted to find and see it for herself. In so doing,she found a comet in the sky. At which time she woke me, and I found that it was | |indeed a comet. I was surprized that I had not seen it the night before. | | |Document 7 | |Source: Gottfried Leibniz, German mathematician and philosopher, 1697 | |I have often thought that women of elevated mind advance knowledge more properly than do men. Women, whose position puts them above | |troublesome and laborious cares, are more detached and therefore more capable of contemplating the good and the beautiful. | | | Document 8 | |Source: Johann Theodor Jablonski, secretary to the Berlin Academy of Sciences, letter to the Academy president opposing Maria Winkelmann’s | |application for membership in the Academy, 1710 | |I do not believe that Maria Winkelmann should continue to work on our official calendar of observations.
It simply will not do. Even before| |her husband’s death, the Academy was ridiculed because its calendar was prepared by a woman. If she were to be kept on in such a capacity, | |mouths would gape even wider. | | | |Document 9 | |Source: Dorothea Erxleben, first woman to be granted a German M.
D. (University of Halle), “Inquiry into the Causes Preventing the Female | |Sex from Studying,” 1742 | |Some will feel as if I declare war on men (by practicing medicine) or at least attempt to deprive them of their privilege. Many of my own | |sex will think I place myself above them. | | |Document 10 | | Source: Johann Junker, head of the University of Halle, a German university, 1745 | |Learned women attract little attention as long as they limit their study to music and the arts. When a woman dares to attend a university, | |however, or qualifies for and receives a doctorate, she attracts a great deal of attention.
The legality of such an undertaking must be | |investigated. | | | | | |Document 11 | |Source: Marquise Emilie du Chatelet, French aristocrat and scientist, letter to the Marquis Jean Francois do Saint-Lambert, 1749 | |Do not reproach me for my work on translating Newton’s “Principia,” Never have I made a greater sacrifice to Reason.
I get up at nine, | |sometimes at eight. I work till three; then I take coffee; I resume work at four; at ten I stop to eat a morsel alone; I talk till midnight| |with Voltaire, who comes to have supper with me, and at midnight I go to work again, and keep on till five in the morning. I must do this | |or lose the fruit of my labors if I should die in childbirth. | | |Document 12 | |Source: Marie Thiroux d’Arconville, French anatomical illustrator, in her preface, “Thoughts on Literature, Morals, and Physics” 1775 | |Women should not study medicine and astronomy. These subjects fall beyond their sphere of competence.
Women should be satisfied with the | |power that their grace and beauty give them and not extend their empire to include medicine and astronomy. | | | |Document 13 | |Source: Gottingen newspaper article describing Dorothea Schlozer, the first women to receive a Ph. D. from a German university, 1787 | |Usually one thinks of a learned woman as neurotic.
And should she ever go beyond the study of literature into higher sciences, one knows in| |advance that her clothing will be neglected and her hair will be done in antiquarian fashion. She forces her way into circles of men for | |whom she is nothing more than a book. For Mademoiselle Schlozer, this is not at all the case. She sews, knits, and understands household | |economy perfectly well. One must gain her confidence before one comes to know the scholar in her. |