Dorothy Hodgkin: British chemist's birthday is celebrated with Google Doodle
Jonathan Gibbs reviews books for The Independent and elsewhere. His novel Randall, about the contemporary art world and the fate of the YBAs, is published by Galley Beggar Press. He blogs on this aspect of his writing at tinycamels.wordpress.com
Monday 12 May 2014
Google has celebrated the British chemist Dorothy Hodgkin with a Doodle on its homepage.
Hodgkin, born 12 May 1910, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the molecular structure of vitamin B12, making her at the time only the third woman to win the prize.
She was best known for advancement of the technique of of X-ray crystallography, in which she used large punch-card operated tabulators, early predecessor to the modern computer, to analyse the patterns cast by reflected X-rays.
She used to technique to work out the structure of the penicillin molecule, in 1946. This is the molecule shown in the Google Doodle - an image based on Hodgkin's model, which is on display in the Science Museum in London.
Born in Egypt Dorothy Mary Crowfoot, Hodgkin spent most of her childhood in England. She was fascinated by crystals from a young age and on her sixteenth birthday received a book about using X-rays to analyse crystals which greatly inspired her.
She worked in the field directly on graduating from Oxford, in 1932, first at the University of Cambridge, and then back at Oxford. The work on vitamin B12 that won her the Nobel Prize took her eight years to complete.
In 1937, she married Thomas Lionel Hodgkin, a lecturer and, like her, a committed socialist. She was a member of the Communist party until the invasion of Hungary in 1956, and in 1953 was banned from entering the US, although later this was reversed. She won the Lenin Peace Prize, and was awarded the Order of Merit, only the second woman to do so, after Florence Nightingale. She died in July 1994, aged 84.
Life & Style blogs
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary
PTSD photo series documents what the disorder is really like – as study reveals suicides of 22 US veterans every day
The distress of some Zayn Malik fans is real, and they need support, say experts
Torrent is not valid bencoding: uTorrent users on proxy hit with ISP block
The truth about student sex workers: it's far from Belle Du Jour
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...
£21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This is a large multi-site operation...
£50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...