Remembering a Pioneer

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The March 22 Google doodle was dedicated to Katsuko Saruhashi, who was born on that day in 1920 and died on Sept. 29, 2007. She was a Japanese geochemist who created tools that let her take some of the first measurements of carbon dioxide levels in seawater. She later showed evidence in seawater and the atmosphere of the dangers of radioactive fallout and how far it can travel. Along with this focus on safety, she also researched peaceful uses of nuclear power. Her other major area of significance involved raising the number and status of women scientists, especially in Japan. She established both the Society of Japanese Women Scientists and the Saruhashi Prize, which is given yearly to a female scientist who serves as a role model for younger women scientists. Among her other honors, she was the first woman elected to the Science Council of Japan, to earn a doctorate in chemistry from the prestigious University of Tokyo, and to win the Miyake Prize for Geochemistry.

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