Louise du Pierry (1746 – 1807), was a French astronomer and professor.
Louise du Pierry was a student of Jerome de Lalande in 1779. She was a member of the academy L’Académie de Sciences de Béziers.
In 1789, she became the first female professor at the Sorbonne university in Paris as the leader of the Cours d’astronomie ouvert pour les dames et mis à leur portée for female students. She predicted eclipses, computed the length of day and night and assembled refraction tables. She published her own work in 1799.
Maria Magdalena Petraccini (1759 -1791), Italian anatomist and physician, professor of anatomy.
Pettracini was born in a merchant family in Tuscany, and moved to Emilia Romagna with her husband, Francesco Ferretti who was a surgeon at the hospital of Bagnacavallo. She was tutored in surgery by her husband, before she became a student in medicine at the University of Florence in 1788.
Maria and her daughter, Zaffira Feretti, were teachers in anatomy at the University of Ferrara. The universities of Salerno and then Bologna were centers of medical education in Italy and known as the locations where most female anatomists and physicians were active. The careers of Pettracini and her daughter indicate that Ferrara also encouraged women as students and teachers.
Pettracini published books about the care of infants and women in childbirth (1789). She protested against the contemporary practice of bandaging of infants, which she claimed could lead to injuries and proclaimed that infants should be allowed to move their limbs. She advocated breast feeding, but also that children should be accustomed to other foods than milk as soon as possible. Though Maria Pettracini died in 1791, her ideas were still talked about after her death.
Wang Zhenyi (1768–1797) was a Chinese astronomer. One of the craters of Venus was named after her. She published works about astronomy, mathematics, gravitation, and particularly studied the eclipses of the moon. Wang Zhenyi also defended women’s rights to study.
She studied lunar eclipses by constructing a model. She placed a round table in a garden pavilion (using it as a globe), from the ceiling she hung a lamp (using it as the Sun) and on one side of the table she had a big round mirror (as the Moon). Moving them around according to astronomical principles she could see how the lunar eclipse occurred, and her article ‘On the Explanation of the Lunar Eclipse’ was highly accurate. In ‘Of the Ball-Shaped Earth’, she attempted to describe why people would not fall off a spherical Earth, and also attempted to describe the cosmos and the relationship of the Earth within it.
She advocated that within society men and women “are all people, who have the same reason for studying”.
Dorothea Christiane Erxleben née Leporin (1715–1762) was the first female medical doctor in Germany.
Erxleben was taught medicine by her father from an early age.The Italian scientist Laura Bassi’s university professorship inspired Erxleben to fight for her right to practice medicine. In 1742 she published a tract arguing that women should be allowed to attend university.
After being admitted to study by a dispensation of Frederick the Great, Erxleben received her M.D. from the University of Halle in 1754. She went on to analyze the obstacles preventing women from studying, among them housekeeping and children.