Culture Project Ideas – Emilie du Chatelet!!

January 17, 2006 at 6:15 pm (Culture Site Project)

Okay, saw the project outline and even when reading the syllabus for the first time knew exactly who it was that I wanted to do my project on–Emilie du Chatelet. 

Emilie du Chatelet I first heard of her when watching the NOVA episode Einstein’s Big IdeaIt was about the visionary scientists whose discoveries enabled Einstein to piece together his theory of relativity.

 Emilie lived in France from 1706-1749, she was skilled in languages, but was especially talented in mathematics and was one of the leading interpreters of modern physics in Europe.  As I understand it from the show, she basically was able to take research from the day and expand upon it and basically derive the idea that you can take the mass of an object and multiply it by the square of it’s velocity to determine its energy.

So, all of this is well and good, but for me, what seems so impressive about her is the time in history in which she accomplished these feats.  In addition, I was captivated by the way many sources seem to dwell on her relationships (Voltaire prime among them) rather than her scientific accomplishments.  To me, this felt like a typical “male” reaction. For, when speaking of male scientists and their accomplishments it is rare to see mention of their relationships or affairs. 

For this reason, as well as her outstanding scientific accomplishments, I find her to be quite interesting and someone I would like to know more about.  I feel that the impacts of 1700’s society on women make her an excellent historical figure to learn more about.  In addition, I feel that there is a story to be told in how her story has been told, that is, what seems to be through a “male” lens–a small, but important detail in documenting how women’s technical accomplishments are treated differently than men’s.

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Welcome to my blog!

January 16, 2006 at 9:52 am (Uncategorized)

Hi there – Kate here.

This is just a quick message to welcome you to my blog. As I am new to this whole thing I will be adding more information and features as I go along.  Check back and see what I have done.

 -Kate

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