Dorothy Wrinch was born in England in 1894. She was educated at Cambridge, studied logic with Bertrand Russell, and then taught mathematics at Oxford before turning to biology, a field then judged ripe for overhaul. The elegant model she proposed for protein molecules in the mid-1930s sparked a war as scientists fought to assert their own ideas as best. Turf battles, sexism, and personalities all contributed to the fight, and Wrinch–sharp of eye, mind, and tongue–was often her own worst enemy. Her model lost out in the end, but she never admitted defeat.
In 1939 Wrinch and her daughter moved to the United States. She was a visiting professor at Amherst College, Smith College, and Mount Holyoke College. For thirty years, until she retired in 1971, Wrinch held research positions at Smith.
This lecture is presented by Marjorie Senechal, who is the Louise Wolff Kahn Professor Emerita of Smith College, and the author of I Died for Beauty: Dorothy Wrinch and the Cultures of Science.
Tickets available first-come, first-serve on the day of the lecture at the Welcome Center. The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program. Free coffee available. Cookies provided courtesy of Big Y.
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