Katsuko Saruhashi is the subject of a Google Doodle tribute on what would have been her 98th birthday for “her incredible contributions to science, and for inspiring young scientists everywhere to succeed.”
“There are many women who have the ability to become great scientists. I would like to see the day when women can contribute to science & technology on an equal footing with men,” Saruhashi once said. She believed “it was her mission to make the field she worked in more equal,” and she was highly regarded as a pioneer geochemist of her own.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Saruhashi Became Curious About the Rain & Was Inspired to Study Chemistry
— loubna (@zoumrouda) March 21, 2018
Saruhashi was a Japanese geologist and chemist who was born on March 22, 1920, in Tokyo, Japan. She was a graduate of Toho University, 1943 and the University of Tokyo, ScD, 1957, according to Encyclopedia.com.
According to Google, “A young Katsuko Saruhashi sat in primary school watching raindrops slide down a window and wondered what made it rain. Her journey for answers led her to become the first woman to earn a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Tokyo in 1957.” Fascinated by the rain, she would go on to study it: Acid rain, in particular.
2. Saruhashi Was an Accomplished Geochemist & ‘Saruhashi’s Table’ Was Named After Her
In honoring Saruhashi, Google noted, “Saruhashi is renowned for her groundbreaking research as a geochemist. She was the first to accurately measure the concentration of carbonic acid in water based on temperature, pH Level, and chlorinity.”
“Saruhashi’s Table,” which was named after her, was a methodology that is utilized by oceanographers today. In another one of her key accomplishments, she “also developed a technique to trace the travel of radioactive fallout across the oceans that led to restricting oceanic nuclear experimentation in 1963,” reported Google.
Her death came in 2007 from pneumonia. She was 87-years-old at the time of her death.
3. Saruhashi’s Scientific Career Encompassed More Than Three Decades
According to Google, “During a career spanning 35 years, Saruhashi became the first woman elected to the Science Council of Japan in 1980, and the first woman honored with the Miyake Prize for geochemistry in 1985 – among many other …read more