22 March : Katsuko Saruhashi (1920)
History / March 21, 2018

Saruhashi Katsuko is born Mar 22, 1920, in Tokyo, Japan. She is the first female who earned doctorate in chemistry from University of Tokyo. She was a geochemist who made first measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in seawater and subsequently showed the evidence in seawater and the atmosphere of the dangers of radioactive fallout. Personality When Saruhashi Katsuko was a young child, people would mock her about the ironic contrast between the name given to her and her personality. Her given name, Katsuko, literally translates as strong-minded or victorious. However, she was quite the opposite. Born in Tokyo in 1920, she was the long awaited baby girl of Saruhashi Kuniharu and Saruhashi Kuno. Spoiled by her parents and older brother Eiichi, Saruhashi was a shy, weeping, introverted little girl. She was a successful geochemist, who worked at the Japanese Transport Ministry’s Meteorological Research Institute (MRI) for 35 years. She was the first woman to be elected as the member of the Science Council of Japan, the country’s “parliament of science” (1981-1985). She was the first woman to receive the Miyake Prize for geochemistry in 1985. She established the Society of Japanese Women Scientists, but not just as a “system…

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