Biographies to Consider: Care of the Earth

Biographies to Consider: Care of the Earth

Princess Diana:  (1961-1997)

“I don’t go by the rule book…I lead from the heart, not the head, anywhere I see suffering, that is where I want to be, doing what I can.”

Diana-Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II. Diana was born into an aristocratic English family with royal ancestry as the Honorable Diana Spencer. She was well known for her fund-raising and works for international charities.

For more Inspiration:

Are you ruled by your heart or your head?  Or both?

Marie Curie:  (1867-1934)

“I have no dress except the one I wear everyday.  If you are going to be kind enough to give me one, please let it be practical and dark so that I can put it on afterwards to go to the laboratory.”  {Referring to her wedding dress}

Marie Curie was the first woman to receive the Noble Prize and the first person to win it for 2 separate categories.  Her first award was for research into radioactivity (Physics 1903).  Her second Nobel Prize was for Chemistry in 1911. A few years later she also helped develop the first x-ray machines.

For more Inspiration:

 What would Marie ask you to consider in using your gifts and talents for a better world?

Wangari Maathai:  (1940-2011)

“Women are responsible for their children, they cannot sit back, waste time, and see them starve.”

Kenyan born environmentalist, pro-democracy activist and women’s rights campaigner. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to prevent conflict through protection of scarce resources.

For more Inspiration:

What might Wangari ask us to consider when protecting our children, communities, society, and the Earth?

Rachel Carson (1907-1964)

Rachel Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book “Silent Spring” and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to enironmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. Her book, “Silent Spring” spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides and inspired a grasssroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the US. Environmental protection agency.

What might Carson ask us to do to protect our own environment or to advocate for environmental protection on a state, national or world level?

For more inspiration:

Erin Brokovich 

Erin is best known for defending the people of Hinkley, California after local groundwater was contaminated with chromium, which resulted in a $333 million settlement in 1996. More recently, she has launched a project to map disease clusters around the world in partnership with Google. She has also raised concerns about the environmental impacts of fracking.

What might Brokovich encourage you to do to protect the environment for current and future generations?

For more inspiration:
Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941)   American

“No greater problem is presented to the human mind.”

The first Delaware woman to enroll in college, she was an astronomer and her greatest contributions remain in the field of stellar spectral classification. She discovered more than 300 variable stars on the photographic plates. All of this in the absence of a hearing aid, Cannon suffered from complete deafness. “ How might we hear differently in our own lives so that we may see?”

Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910- 1994 Egypt)

“I was captured for life by chemistry and by crystals.”

Born in Cairo, Hodgkin studied chemistry and biochemistry in college.  Most of her working life was spent as an Official Fellow and Tutor in Natural Sciences at Somerville College. She is known for developing protein crystallography to determine the structure of insulin.  She won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964. “How might we be inspired by the natural world?”…/

Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin (1900-1979  British American)

“The reward of the young scientist is the emotional thrill of being the first person in the history of the world to see something or to understand something.  Nothing can compare with that experience…the reward of the old scientist is the sense of having seen a vague sketch grow into a masterly landscape.”

Cecilia attended Harvard University in the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics. She is known for her explanation of spectra of sun and has observed more than three million stars.  In 1956 she became the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within the faculty at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  She also became the first woman to head a department at Harvard. “How can be a scientist to investigate our life, look at the stars for inspiration?”

Lady Bird Johnson (1912-2007)
“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
Lady Bird, the former First Lady of the United States, was responsible for many environmental efforts during her husband’s presidency, most notably the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 that led to the wildflowers and greenery now planted on the side of American roadways. Johnson was a lifelong advocate for beautifying the nation’s cities and highways. The act is still known as Lady Bird’s bill.
What environmental efforts might Lady Bird encourage you to do?
For more inspiration: