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The Interesting Tidbits

An exhibit at the Grolier Club in New York City includes "tantalizing and little-known details" from the lives of 32 women who lived during the 1600s and into the 1900s and made major contributions to a variety of areas of science, the New York Times reports. The exhibit, entitled 'Extraordinary Women in Science and Medicine,' also highlights the obstacles and biases they faced in getting an education, being admitted to professional societies, and receiving a fair wage.

Hertha Ayrton, for example, was an electrical engineer who wrote a number of papers and a textbook on electric arcs and lighting systems. But, the Times recounts, she was unable to present a paper to the Royal Society of London as it had to be read by a man.

Additionally, the exhibit notes that Florence Nightingale also had an interest in statistics as she developing graphing techniques and showed that during the Crimean War, more soldiers died of disease than the fighting.

The exhibit, which runs through November 23rd, also includes a brown paper bag that it says is a manuscript. "[I]ndeed, it carries notes and a sketch made by the geneticist Barbara McClintock as she figured out the solution to a vexing chromosomal puzzle," the Times says, adding, "Dr. McClintock won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983."