Google Doodle honours Japanese geochemist Katsuko Saruhashi

NEW DELHI: Google on Wednesday honoured Japanese geochemist Katsuko Saruhashi on her 98th birth anniversary with a doodle.

Dr. Katsuko is widely known for two research projects. She was one of the first to study and measure the levels of carbon dioxide in seawater. Her methodology came to be known as ‘Saruhashi’s Table’ and was widely used by oceanographers.

She also measured the spread and fallout from nuclear testing in the 1950s. When several nations were conducting nuclear tests at remote sites, there were concerns about the amount of radioactive material reaching Japan through air or seawater. She found out that fallout from an American bomb test on the Pacific Island of Bikini reached Japan through seawater a year and a half after the test.

Dr. Katsuko was the first woman to be awarded a doctoral degree in Chemistry from the University of Tokyo in 1957. She was the first woman to be elected as a member of the Science Council of Japan. She was also the first woman to receive the Miyake Prize for geochemistry in 1985

In 1981, she established the Saruhashi Prize, given each year to a Japanese woman who has made important contributions to the field of natural sciences.

A-Z of Women in Science and Math quotes Dr. Katsuko as saying, “the prize highlights the capabilities of women scientists. Each winner has not only been a successful researcher, but a wonderful human being as well.”

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