How and to what extent did women participate in the Scientific Revolution

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Women participated and responded to the Humanistic and Renaissance Movements the same way they did during the Scientific Revolution. During the 17th and 18th centuries, there were many discoveries and this caused a lot of excitement. Furthermore, some women who were gifted were inspired to become scientists. In turn, they formulated and came up with theories concerning the world that is natural. There are not many people who are aware that there are notable women of the Scientific Revolution. Men are the ones who are famous and one must have heard of Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilee and Nicholas Copernicus, among others. Women of the scientific evolution era also published their findings and performed experiments like the male scientists (Fara, 2004.34).

There were women who were formally educated in matters that concerned humanistic precepts. However, women who existed at the time of the scientific revolution did not have much knowledge concerning the sciences as they had not been trained. These women studied and read on their own, and the reason why they are given a lot of acclamation. Unfortunately, women were criticized by the families, rather than being encouraged. They were accused of engaging in acts that are unfeminine, inelegant as well as inappropriate (Fara, 2004.45).

It is evident that, across America and Europe, the natural sciences were a fascination to many women. The male and women scientists corresponded and studied together concerning extremely vital matters. Moreover, in union with each other, the knowledge they acquired was used in practical formulation of applications. Some of the fields were Natural History, Physical Geography, Medicine, Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Horticulture and Botany. The men and women during the Scientific Revolution, who were interested in the mentioned subjects, were known as naturalists. The latter is a name that continued to be used for many centuries. Charles Darwin is an example of a famous 19th century naturalist (Fara, 2004.56)

Scanty information exists concerning the notable women, as only few had their extensive biographies written down. For example, in the years 1599-1625, Ana de Osorio the Cinchon Countess had valuable medicinal information. She is known to be the first person who made sure that Europe had information regarding quinine. The latter’s bark has many medicinal properties, and she had came with it from Peru. Furthermore, the quinine is responsible for curing the malaria she had been infected. While, in Peru, she was the Viceroy’s wife and a resident of Peru. The latter is during the period when the Spanish had taken over Peru. As a result of her discovery, in her honor, the plant is today named Cinchona Pubescens. The father of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus is the one who named the plant, in order to honor the Countess. The plant is mostly found in the Tropical South American region that is mountainous and extremely naïve. In the later years, discovery of quinine was credited to the American Army General known as Walter Reed. Malaria could now be treated due to the discovery of the strong palliative, especially when America took over France in building the Panama Canal (Fara, 2004.67).

In the whole of the 17th and 18th centuries, from the years 1647-1717, the most notable naturalist is Maria Sibylla Merian. Most people today remember her for being an artist’s rather than a scientist. When she was young, she would collect specimens from the fields, which her step father owned. In turn, she published and completed engravings and collections of European insects and flowers. Most people regarded this accomplishment as being artistic and not scientific (Merian, 2012.1). Merian observed the various stages in the development of caterpillars and painted them. Insect collectors, who were males and the Amsterdam Botanical Garden Director, were fascinated by her work. At the age of fifty two, she went for an expedition in South America’s interior for two years. Unfortunately, she had to return home after contracting yellow fever (Merian, 2012.1).

An aristocratic English woman known as Margaret Cavendish of the years 1617 to 1673 is famous for teaching herself universe studies, astronomy and mathematics. In the later years, a total of fourteen books were produced by her, and they ranged from atomic physics to natural history (James, 1999.220). It is indeed evident that she had a forte for writing and learning. Another notable woman is a noble French wo.............


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