Sunday, June 13, 2010

Camp Curie --> A camp just for girls that I am part of the team teaching this course this summer for the Sceince Museum of MN

Because I like this course so much, and find the women I'm researching so extrodinary, this is information worth keeping available to everyone.  
Thank you to all my facebook and Twitter friends who helped me come up with names and ideas.
to give back to you guys, here's what I've found all on line.

Hopefully for the parents out there - here's how you can stay in touch with this information as well and keep it and your daughters forever creative and curious!

Most importantly - here's to the Science Museum of MN - my favorite place to teach!  These kids are the best and it is totally worth taking my summers and weekends to work with these amazing young minds.  Go nerds!  

Camp Curie: Monday: Ecology / Nature

Monday:  Ecology / Naturalist
Alice Eastwood - Botany
Rachel Carson – Silent Spring
Maria Sibylla Merian  - entomologist and Scientific Illustrator
Cornelia Hess Honegger -- entomologist and Scientific Illustrator
Janine Benyus - Biomimicry (small introduction)


 Alice Eastwood - Botany
Originally Canada, but migrated to the US, and spent most of her career in CA

Alice Eastwood (1859-1953), Naturalist

She was born in Toronto Canada, and moved to Colorado during her high school years. She worked several jobs to help her family while in school and yet still graduated at the top of her class.  Because college was too expensive for her to go,
she began teaching at her old high school after graduation for a decade - which left her summers to do nothing but exploring the Rocky Mountains collecting plant samples, documenting, and illustrating them.  It was risky at the time.  The area was not fully settled, and it was a huge risk.  She was even robbed a few times, but it did not detour her.  She shortened her skirts so she could explore the area better and reach more unreachable places.  She was so well known for this that when the famous natrualist Alfred Russel Wallace visited the area, he requested her to be his guide.  

In 1893, Alice Eastwood moved to California where she met and she befriended Katherine Brandegee, curator of the Academy’s Herbarium, who convinced Eastwood to come and work for her at the California Academy of sciences, San Francisco.  That same year she published a book, A Popular Flora of Denver Colorado, the first of some 300 plus illustrated books and articles she would write about plants from all over the country over her lifetime.  She took over Brandegee’s position in 1895, and spent from then until 1909 organizing and enlarging the collection.  

One of the most valuable things she did when she was there was to separate and protect the rarest of specimens in her office.  When a major Earthquake hit in 1906, she managed to save those plants.  The earthquake had managed to collapse the stairs, so she and a friend climbed 6 floors of iron railing to get to her office and lower the specimens down by ropes, and escape with them right before the fires hit their building.  She saved 1,497 plants (the rarest of collection) but everything else, including her entire personal collection that she had been working on since her teens, was destroyed. 
When asked about her personal loss she said:
She spent the next 6 years rebuilding the collection, and by 1949, 43 years after the disaster, she had gathered over 340,000 different specimens and rebuilt the herbarium. She retired from the academy when she was 90 years old, and died 3 years later from cancer.

She published over 300 articles about botany over her lifetime.

 Eastwoodia elegans -->  a type of sunflower she discovered

"Alice Eastwood." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. Retrieved June 27, 2010 from

Some of her favorite species
west American Liliaceae - Erythronium revolutum


Rachel Carson – Silent Spring
 1904 - 1964,  USA

 Image taken from:


Rachel Carson (1907-1964) Environmentalist / Marine Biologist
If there was ever a person who changed the world, it was Rachel Carson.  She published several articles, and 5 books, 2 of which we best sellers for years at a time, but it was her book, Silent Spring in 1962, that gave our poisoned environment a voice. 
Carson grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania.  As a child, she was completely consumed by her interest in wildlife and her mother encouraged this.  She put herself through school, originally intending to get a degree in English, but her love for nature could not be stifled, and she graduated in the top of her class with a Zoology degree.  Later she gained her Masters with a focus in Marine Biology. 
In 1936, she found herself with a full house to support.  Her father had died and her mother moved in with her, along with her 2 nieces, which she adopted when her sister died.  She took a job at the United States Bureau of Fisheries, and was only one of two women working there in non-clerical jobs, writing for radio during the great depression, and eventually becoming editor and chief for all their publications.

She was already gaining fame with both of her best selling books, The Sea Around Us (1951), and The Edge of the Sea (1955), but it was the next project that she took on which solidified her place in the history books, and changed the world.  After World War II and the increase use of pesticides - Rachel, changed her focus, due to the pleas of her friend, Olga Owens Huckins.
Carson went on to report the dangers of pesticides on all life.  In 1957, Huckins and her husband were alarmed when the morning after their bird sanctuary was sprayed by the government with DDT, said to control the mosquito population, several song birds were found dead with anguished and tortured physical expressions.  Huckin’s begged for her help to spread the word of the dangers of this seemingly “harmless” pesticide.
Carson spent 4 years collecting data to support her findings, and wound up synthesizing several alarming reports that had never been put together before, building an insurmountable defense against the use of pesticides. 
“The More I learned about pesticides, the more appalled I became.  Everything, which meant most to me as a naturalist was being threatened.”   - Carson.

When her book was first published in 1962, many papers and people who financially profited from DTT declared her hysterical, extreme, emotionally fanning words, obsessive, etc.  They tried to write her off as an over reactionary woman, out of control and out of her mind.  Yet, the more evidence that came in, and the more national attention it drew, the more it became clear that she might be one of the few rational people left around. 
She testified before Congress in 1963, calling for new regulations to protect humans and other life forms against chemicals likes these in favor of health and well being of living things.
She died a year later (1964) of breast cancer, but her cause lived on.   

Due to her one little book, she drove the urgency for something to be done.  It inspired the development of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in 1970, and the banning of the use of DDT in 1972.  She became a catalyst for change, and that energy still persists today.
Unfortunately, so does the reason that ecological concern still is a fire hot issue of concern.  Back in 1992, (12 years ago) it was estimated some 2.2 billion pounds of pesticide were used in this country.  That amounts to some 8 lbs of pesticide per person (man, woman and child), each year.  This industry has not slowed, but only grown over the years.  There is much work that needs to be done.

Her list of Books:
 Under the Sea-wind (1941). 
The Sea Around Us, (1952) 
The Edge of the Sea (1955).

"Help Your Child to Wonder," (1956) 
"Our Ever-Changing Shore" (1957)
Silent Spring (1962) 


Maria Sibylla Merian  - Entomologist and Scientific Illustrator
April 2, 1647 – January 13, 1717)
 Image taken from:

When Maria Sibylla Merian was little, her father died and her mother married a painter who encouraged Maria to draw and paint.  She continued to do so into adulthood, marring her step father's painting assistant even - and going on to paint and even teach such skills to others.  Yet it was her husband's constant infidelity that caused her to leave and divorce him - but gave her the opportunity to travel around the world (most famously South America) and explore her own work even further.
Her studies lead her to focus on gardens and insects -with a particular interest in Caterpillars and butterflies. Prior to her work - people thought that butterflies and Caterpillars arose from spontaneous generation, but it was her observations and illustrations that changed this.  Her sketchbooks were later published into a series of books, and she became well known.  Still - in 1715 she had a stroke, which left her paralyzed, destitute and homeless.  She died 2 years later with nothing.

Her books:
Neues Blumenbuch -- New book of flowers  (1675)
Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandlung und sonderbare Blumennahrung -- The Caterpillar, Marvelous Transformation and Strange Floral Food  (1678)

Cornelia Hess Honegger -- entomologist and Scientific Illustrator
 Zurich, Switzerland, (1944  - present)

"A scientific illustrator and artist, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger was born in 1944 in Zurich, Switzerland. She worked for 25 years as a scientific illustrator for the scientific department of the Natural History Museum at the University of Zurich. Since 1969, she has collected and painted bugs in the suborder Heteroptera. Her watercolors act as an interface between art and science and pay witness to a beautiful but endangered nature. Since the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl in 1986, she has collected, studied, and painted morphologically disturbed insects she finds in the fallout areas of this and other nuclear plants. Since the early 1970s, her work has been shown in various galleries and museums in Switzerland, as well as at prestigious institutions such as the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Chelsea Art Museum in New York, and the Kunsthaus Nürnberg. For more on Cornelia click here."  Bio taken from:

Her Bio has been Taken & copied directly from her site:
"Since the catastrophe of Chernobyl in 1986, she has collected, studied and painted morphologically disturbed insects, which she finds in the fallout areas of Chernobyl as well as near nuclear installations. As a result of her studies, she is convinced that in  
regions where the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl, or from normally working nuclear power plants, hits ground, the vegetation is contaminated, and a certain percentage of the insects, like leaf bugs, become morphologically disturbed.
Her first research trip, in the summer of 1987, brought her to the regions worst hit by the Chernobyl radioactive cloud: the south of Sweden and the southern part of Switzerland, known as the Ticino. She captured leaf bugs in those regions, insects that were two generations removed from the Chernobyl accident, and studied their health with her binocular microscope. She concluded that the fallout from Chernobyl had caused a significant number of morphological malformations among Heteroptera leaf bugs, Drosophila fruit flies, and plants. 

She published her work in the magazine of the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in January 1988. Swiss scientists, however, expressed criticism of her research, insisting that the fallout in Western Europe from the Chernobyl accident was too small to cause morphological disturbances in insects.
After this attack from the Swiss scientific community on her findings, Cornelia became even more intrigued about the effects of radiation on the health of insects. She wondered whether the insects living in the environs of Swiss nuclear power plants, which emit significantly lower levels of radiation than the fallout from Chernobyl, would therefore be healthy. 

In 1989 Cornelia made her first trip to collect leaf bugs in the environs of the Swiss  nuclear power plants Gösgen and Leibstadt, in the canton of Aargau. In 1989 she continued her studies in the environs of the British nuclear reprocessing plant Sellafield. In the following years she concluded studies around the French nuclear reprocessing plant La Hague, the nuclear power plants Krümmel and Gundremmingen in Germany, and Three Mile Island in the U.S., as well as the Nevada atom bomb testing area and the Hanford plutonium factories in Washington State. In 1990 she traveled to Chernobyl itself.
Based on her studies, she has concluded that normally working nuclear power plants — as well as other nuclear installations — cause deformities in Heteroptera leaf bugs, and are a terrible threat to nature. Her field studies were centered at first in her native Switzerland, since she felt she should  
begin by taking a broom to her own house. Her watercolors of morphologically disturbed insects and plants, as well as her publications, document her findings in a very convincing and impressive form.

Cornelia has learned that there is an official science that claims that the low amounts of radiation emitted by nuclear installations are harmless. The risks of low-level exposure are ignored or insufficiently studied by scientists connected to government institutions and universities. Scientists who have researched the effects of low-level exposure to radiation — like the scientists in Belarus, Ukraine, and Germany who studied the effects of the Chernobyl radioactive cloud on children’s health — are not given opportunities to publish their findings, or are ostracized within the scientific community.  
All over the world, scientists who study the effects of radioactivity have little opportunity to publish their findings or persuade their governments about its deathly effects, as those governments quickly approve counter-studies. Cornelia therefore asks for truly independent studies — from university scientists not dependent on government funding — but she also wishes to reach the man and woman in the street to alert them to the problem." 
Her Bio has been Taken & copied directly from her site:


Janine Benyus - Biomimicry (small introduction)

"Janine Benyus is dazzlingly brilliant naturalist and the author of six books, including the groundbreaking Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. She is co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild, which helps designers, engineers and community leaders "consult life's genius for more graceful ways to live on earth."  Image and bio taken from:

Acid Rain Experiment
Start with 3 plants - In this case we are using the imatient

They will each get a 1/2 cup of fluid

the Black will get 50% water, 50% lemon juice (Acid)

the brown pot will get 100% water

 the Green will get 75% water, and 25% lemon juice  (Acid)

and this is the 50% water - 50% lemon juice - which is WAY TOO MUCH.  Nearly killed the plant in hours.  so we'll do less in class.
 A week later - things happen  - but it seemed like more of it had to do with mold than it did with acid.  The 50% lemon juice tried to die instantly, flimsy leaves, they wilted, and stopped growing all together.


Katherine Brandegee (maiden name Layne)(1844-1920), Naturalist

Katherine Brandegee (Layne, her maiden name at the time) married to a cop in 1866 but when he died of alcoholism in 1874, she decided follow her own interests and started her life over.  She enrolled in medical school at the University of California, Berkeley in 1875.  She was the third woman ever to do so.  Do to discrimination, she did not get very many patients, and decided then to shift her focus on her long time passion for plants.  She studied them with the intent developing new medical drugs. 
She went to the Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, working in the Herbology lab. She did such a complete job organizing, and documenting the plants that the curator turned his job over to her when he retired in 1883.  During her stay there, she met, and fell in love with her true-life partner, Townshend Stith Brandeggee.  They married in 1889, and spent their honeymoon walking from San Diego to San Francisco collecting plants for their own collection.  She left the academy into the hands of Alice Eastwood in 1895, and spent the rest of her life traveling the southwest collecting plants species in fair and fowl health. 
It was said that she could have published the most in-depth book about plants that had ever been, but her fear of failure held her from doing it, and thus, she never did.  

Camp Curie: Tuesday: Exploration, Medicine, technology & Design

Tuesday:  Exploration, Medicine, technology & Design
Dr. Mae Jemison  - astronaut, 1st African American Woman in space
Sally Ride,  - astronaut, 1st American Woman in space
Myra Adele Logan,  - 1st woman to operate on the human heart
Ann Hamilton,  - Medicine related to industrial areas
Rachel Zimmerman – Created a translator through symbols, she created technology to get disabled individuals who could no longer communicate with words. Blissymbols
Ada Lovelace, - father was poet Byron, she worked on the initial seeds of computers   Analyst, Metaphysician, and Founder of Scientific Computing
Janine Benyus,  - Biomimicry
Sylvia Earle - Deep Ocean Research



Dr. Mae Jemison- Astronaut
Born in Alabama, Lived in Chicago, currently lives in Huston TX, but remains a global citizen.
(1956 - present)
Mae's parents believed education was extremely important and hence was the reason for moving to Chicago when she was 3 years old.  At age 4, her Uncle inspired her interest in Archeology and Anthropology.  She has degrees, experience, and skills in African studies, African American studies, Chemical Engineering, Science, Dance, Coreography, Astronaut, Education, Teaching,  Medical work and more.

She is dedicated to equality for all people and improving the status of those who are inhibited by social injustice.  She has traveled all over the world and worked on improving the health of those in less fortunate countries than our own.

Since leaving NASA - she has focused her attention of providing opportunities for education in the sciences and beyond.

Bio Taken directly from TED talks:
"In 1992, Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to go into space. She's become a crusader for science education -- and for a new vision of learning that combines arts and sciences, intuition and logic.
Mae Jemison is a poster child for an education that combines arts and sciences. As she says, "I always knew I'd go to space." Trained as an engineer, Jemison is a medical doctor, and she practiced in LA before becoming the Peace Corps' Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia. While running that effort, she researched Hepatitis B, schistosomaisis and rabies with the CDC and NIH.
Back in the US, she'd returned to her California practice when selected in 1987 for NASA's astronaut program. She was the science mission specialist on STS-47 Spacelab-JEndeavour and her crew launched from and returned to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In completing her first space flight, Dr. Jemison logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, 23 seconds in space." (September 12-20, 1992), a cooperative mission between the United States and Japan. From NASA's factsheet: "The eight-day mission was accomplished in 127 orbits of the Earth, and included 44 Japanese and U.S. life science and materials processing experiments. Dr. Jemison was a co-investigator on the bone cell research experiment flown on the mission. The
In 1994, Jemison founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, which runs an internationally-known science camp called The Earth We Share. She also founded BioSentient Corp. to explore bringing NASA biofeedback technology to public market. Jemison is also the first real astronaut to appear on Star Trek"  Bio Taken directly from TED talks:
Mae Jemison on teaching arts and sciences together

"Dr. Jemison founded The Jemison Group, Inc., located in Houston, TX, to research, develop and implement advanced technologies suited to the social, political, cultural and economic context of the individual, especially for the developing world. Current projects include: Alpha, (TM) a satellite based telecommunication system to improve health care in West Africa; and The Earth We Share, (TM) an international science camp for students ages 12 to 16, that utilizes an experiential curriculum.".....
......"She feels very honored by the establishment (1992) of the MAE C. JEMISON ACADEMY, an alternative public school in Detroit."  Quotes taken from the bio of Dr. Jemison at the site:

She has also created these educational programs as well:
(1994) The Earth We Share, a space camp for ages 12-16.
(1995-2002) taught environmental studies at Dartmouth College.
(present) The Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in developing countries.


Sylvia Earle - Deep Ocean Research
 This was all Taken from the TED bio  - and can be read at:
"Sylvia Earle has been at the frontier of deep ocean exploration for four decades. She's led more than 50 undersea expeditions, and she's been an equally tireless advocate for our oceans and the creatures who live in them.
"Sylvia Earle, called "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and the New York Times, "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress and "Hero for the Planet" by Time, is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with a deep commitment to research through personal exploration.
Earle's work has been at the frontier of deep ocean exploration for four decades. Earle has led more than 50 expeditions worldwide involving more than 6,000 hours underwater. As captain of the first all-female team to live underwater, she and her fellow scientists received a ticker-tape parade and White House reception upon their return to the surface. In 1979, Sylvia Earle walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any other woman before or since. In the 1980s she started the companies Deep Ocean Engineering and Deep Ocean Technologies with engineer Graham Hawkes to design and build undersea vehicles that allow scientists to work at previously inaccessible depths. In the early 1990s, Dr. Earle served as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. At present she is explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society. 
Sylvia Earle is a dedicated advocate for the world's oceans and the creatures that live in them. Her voice speaks with wonder and amazement at the glory of the oceans and with urgency to awaken the public from its ignorance about the role the oceans plays in all of our lives and the importance of maintaining their health.
"We've got to somehow stabilize our connection to nature so that in 50 years from now, 500 years, 5,000 years from now there will still be a wild system and respect for what it takes to sustain us."
Sylvia Earle"  This was all Taken from the TED bio  - and can be read at:

Sylvia Earle's TED Prize wish to protect our oceans



Janine Benyus - Biomimicry

"Janine Benyus is dazzlingly brilliant naturalist and the author of six books, including the groundbreaking Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. She is co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild, which helps designers, engineers and community leaders "consult life's genius for more graceful ways to live on earth."  Image and bio taken from:
"Janine Benyus has a message for inventors: When solving a design problem, look to nature first. There you'll find inspired designs for making things waterproof, aerodynamic, solar-powered and more. Here she reveals dozens of new products that take their cue from nature with spectacular results."  taken from Ted:

"Biomimicry is the science and art of emulating Nature's best biological ideas to solve human problems. Non-toxic adhesives inspired by geckos, energy efficient buildings inspired by termite mounds, and resistance-free antibiotics inspired by red seaweed are examples of biomimicry happening today -- and none too soon. Humans may have a long way to go towards living sustainably on this planet, but 10-30 million species with time-tested genius to help us get there."

Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action

Janine Benyus shares nature's designs  not shown in class (Science museum class) - but being made available for your own info.  I will show this - but starting at minute 11.  she kinda babbles in the beginning.

Janine Benyus – Biomimicry “Innovation inspired by Nature”

•  3.8 Billion years of Research and Design testing

•  10 – 30 Million + species that are well adapted to the solutions
•  Design solutions solved in the CONTEXT of living on Earth, and making things without damaging it.  

•  The Emulation of life’s Genius
•  It is not ‘high tech” if it is not sustainable and safe for the environment, now and generations to come.

3 questions:
1)          1) How does life make things?
-       Without heating, beating or treating? (Our current system is 96% waste, 4% product) – Nature has 0% waste  - and all of it gets re-absorbed and used into a system.
2)              2)How does life make the most of things?
-       How does information turn into matter and the structure always aids in the function of the creature?
3) How does life Make “things” that disappear into a system? 

Questions like “HOW DOES NATURE……………
-  Organize spring?
-  Optimize its packing space?
-  Waterproof?
-  Heat and Cool a structure?
-  Build houses for it’s young?
- Allow for coexistence of all those around it?
-  Repel bacteria?
-  Move fast without turbulence or friction?
-  Gather water in environments where there are no liquid pools of water?
-  Gather, create and use Energy efficiently?
-   Use CO2 as a building Block rather that see it as a waste product?
- Filter water?
-  Design strength building in a structure with the minimal amount of matter? (like bones and trees)
-  How can you get many functions out of one material?  (Like chitin on an insect)
Currently we use all the elements on the periodic table, many of them carcinogenetic and work with 350 different polymers to create things.  Nature uses basically 4 elements and only 5 different formulas of polymers to do the same things and more with no carcinogens or waste. 
-  Work with Nano technology, and safely?
-    Energy use, and how to optimize it?
-  How does nature move water up without a pump?
-  How does nature produce energy (like the electric eel), and INSULATE itself from the 200 volts of energy it creates?
-  How does nature shut on and off?
-  Self assembles?
-  How can we reduce Drag / friction (the loss of energy)?
-  Hoe does it listen specifically to something amongst all the noise?
-  Provide Ecosystem wide services that all work together in concert?

Janine Benyus’ BIG IDEAS

#1 – Self assembly:  shells – mother of pearl that is stronger than ceramics yet assembled at room temperature, lenses that are flexible, silicon w/ out carcinogens.  How to create & build something WITHOUT HEATING, BEATING OR TREATING.

#2 – CO2, as a building block:

#3 – Solar Transformation:  Harvesting the sun’s energy and using it efficiently for growth.

#4 – Power of Shape:

#5 – Color with out pigment: thin film interference

#6 – Shape and form that cleans itself without detergents:

#7 – Quenching Thirst – how to get water out of thin air.

#8 – Separation Technology – to get metals without mining.

#9 – Green Chemistry:  Nature uses only 4 elements on the periodic table and only 5 polymers to create everything we see that is biological.  It takes us 118 elements and most of them are carcinogenic and 350 polymers to make what we see around us that are man made.

#10 – Timed degradation: being able to dissolve on cue

#11 – Resilience and healing:  looking at species that are able to dry out and come back to life in the presence of water after years and years (inspired vaccine development), and re-generate limbs

#12 – Growing and farming

#13 – Life’s Design is always simple

#14 – Life Creates Conditions Conducive to life


NASA 50th Anniversary Moment - Sally Ride

Ada Lovelace, - father was poet Byron, she worked on the initial seeds of computers   Analyst, Metaphysician, and Founder of Scientific Computing

"Ada Byron was the daughter of a brief marriage between the Romantic poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabelle Milbanke, who separated from Byron just a month after Ada was born. Four months later, Byron left England forever. Ada never met her father (who died in Greece in 1823) and was raised by her mother, Lady Byron. Her life was an apotheosis of struggle between emotion and reason, subjectivism and objectivism, poetics and mathematics, ill health and bursts of energy.
Lady Byron wished her daughter to be unlike her poetical father, and she saw to it that Ada received tutoring in mathematics and music, as disciplines to counter dangerous poetic tendencies. But Ada's complex inheritance became apparent as early as 1828, when she produced the design for a flying machine. It was mathematics that gave her life its wings."

"Ada called herself "an Analyst (& Metaphysician)," and the combination was put to use in the Notes. She understood the plans for the device as well as Babbage but was better at articulating its promise. She rightly saw it as what we would call a general-purpose computer. It was suited for "developping [sic] and tabulating any function whatever. . . the engine [is] the material expression of any indefinite function of any degree of generality and complexity." Her Notes anticipate future developments, including computer-generated music.
Ada died of cancer in 1852, at the age of 37, and was buried beside the father she never knew. Her contributions to science were resurrected only recently, but many new biographies* attest to the fascination of Babbage's "Enchantress of Numbers."  taken from:

Myra Adele Logan,  - 1st woman to operate on the human heart

"She not only delivered babies on the way to the hospital, but also repaired numerous stab wounds to the heart. Remaining at Harlem Hospital, she became an associate surgeon there, and was also a visiting surgeon at Sydenham Hospital. In 1943 she became the first woman to perform open heart surgery, in the ninth operation of its kind anywhere in the world. She also became interested in the then-new antibiotic drugs, researching aureomycin and other drugs and publishing her results in Archives of Surgery and Journal of American Medical Surgery. In the 1960s, Logan began to work on breast cancer, developing a slower x-ray process that could detect more accurately differences in the density of tissue and thus help discover tumors much earlier. In addition to maintaining a private practice, she was also a charter member of one ofthe first group practices in the nation, the Upper Manhattan Medical Group of the Health Insurance Plan, a concept that houses physicians of various specialties under one roof and that is the norm today.
Logan found time in her busy schedule to stay committed to social issues. Early in her career, she was a member of the New York State Committee on Discrimination, but resigned in protest in 1944 when Governor Dewey ignored the anti-discrimination legislation the committee had proposed. She was also active in Planned Parenthood as well as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and after her retirement in 1970 she served on the New York State Work men's Compensation Board. Her myriad medical and civic achievements led to her election to the American College of Surgeons.
Logan married the well known painter Charles Alston in 1943. The couple had no children, devoting their lives to professional pursuits. She was a lover of music and a fine classical pianist. She also enjoyed the theater and reading. Myra Adele Logan died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on January 13, 1977, of lung cancer at the age of 68. Her husband, Charles Alston, died only a few months later."  information taken from:

Video Bar for Art and Science discussions