5 Reasons You Should Know Ruth Patrick


    1. Ruth Patrick earned a PhD in 1934, when very few women pursued careers in science. Maybe that’s no surprise, since she’d received her first microscope when she was seven years old; microscopes weren’t the usual fare for girls in 1914.
    2. She wrote more than 200 articles and several books. She used her maiden name when publishing her research, in part because her father encouraged her. A boldly feminist move from one perspective, it may have also been a selfish suggestion on his part, since her maiden name was her father’s last name.
    3. The Limnology Department she founded at the Academy of Natural Sciences studied water pollution in the 1950s, before many scientists were bothering with environmental studies and activism. In an innovative move, that department used a multidisciplinary approach with scoentists from across fields studying waterways.
    4. For her first eight years at the Academy of Natural Sciences, from 1933-1945, she was an unpaid volunteer.
    5. Patrick died three years ago today—at the age of 105!


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