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Chemistry International

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Volume 41, Issue 3


Ellen Gleditsch: Woman Chemist in IUPAC’s Early History

Annette Lykknes
Published Online: 2019-06-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2019-0309


In 1907, a 28-year-old Norwegian pharmacist-chemist arrived in Paris to work with Marie Curie at the Radium Institute. Like many women at the time, Ellen Gleditsch was attracted to the newly discovered phenomenon of radioactivity and wished take part in exciting scientific endeavour. Working with the Nobel Laureate Marie Curie was a unique opportunity for the ambitious young chemist, whose skills in mineral analyses led to her being accepted into the otherwise fully staffed laboratory. By all accounts, Ellen Gleditsch appears to have been one of the first women associated with IUPAC. In 1921 she was the Norwegian representative of the committee working on the Tables Annuelles de Constantes et Données Numériques de Chimie, de Physique et de Technologie [1], published under the auspices of IUPAC with the agreement of the International Research Council. In the following year she was a member of the Commission on Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry during its meeting in Lyon [2]. In 1947 Gleditsch became a full member of the Joint Commission of Standards and Units of Radioactivity, joining her friends Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie in this capacity, and all three continued to be members until the Commission’s dissolution in 1955 [3]. IUPAC was the mother union of this Joint Commission, and directly linked with International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU).


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About the article

Annette Lykknes

Annette Lykknes < > is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education, NTNU-Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway

Published Online: 2019-06-14

Published in Print: 2019-07-01

Citation Information: Chemistry International, Volume 41, Issue 3, Pages 26–27, ISSN (Online) 1365-2192, ISSN (Print) 0193-6484, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2019-0309.

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©2019 IUPAC & De Gruyter. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For more information, please visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.Get Permission

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