Laura Bassi: Google Doodle Honours Italian physicist

Google has honoured Laura Bassi the italian physicist and academic, also it the first woman to obtain doctorate in science.

Laura Maria Catarina BASSI.

Laura Maria Catarina Bassi successfully defended 49 theses to become one of the first women in Europe to receive a doctorate in science and second woman in the world to earn the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Laura Bassi was born in 1711 in Bologna, Papal States ”a region known today as Italy” to a wealthy family.

Due in part to her father’s financial standing, Bassi was privately educated from ages 5 to 20 in subjects ranging from Latin and mathematics to logic and metaphysics.

By the age of 20, Laura Bassi caught the attention of Prospero Lambertini, later known as Pope Benedict XIV who became her patron and arranged opportunities for her to display her scientific prowess.

Laura publicly defended her 49 theses in a debate with four professors of the University of Bologna. A rare achievement at a time in which women were largely excluded from higher education on April 17, 1732.

she was awarded a doctorate in science, becoming the first woman to do so, and only the second woman in history to earn a philosophy doctorate.

Laura Bassi became the most important popularize of Newtonian mechanics in Italy. She was inducted by the Pope to the Benedettini (similar to the modern Pontifical Academy of Sciences) as an additional member in 1745. She took up the Chair of Experimental Physics in 1776, the position she held until her death on February 20, 1778 in Bologna.


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