Portrait of Agnes Mary Clerke from Scientific Identity: Portraits from the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.
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Image ID: SIL-SIL14-C4-04
Supplied Caption: Portrait of Agnes Mary Clerke
Original Caption: Portrait of Agnes Mary Clerke.
What does it take to get a lunar crater named after you? This Irish writer did it by effectively communicating to the masses the wonders of science, especially astronomy. Agnes Mary Clerke was born in Skibbereen, Ireland in 1842. Though women in her era were not encouraged to do so, she and her sister put a lot of energy into studying the hard sciences and mathematics. Clerke became a prolific writer and a scholar on the history of science. In 1885, Clerke published A Popular History of Astronomy, a book that made the progression of scientific thought accessible to more readers. It was wildly popular with both academics and the general public. As the fourth woman ever elected to the Royal Astronomical Society, she was shooting for the stars and landed on the moon!