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Encyclopedia > Mary Somerville
Mary Somerville
Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville (December 26, 1780November 28, 1872) was a Scottish science writer and polymath, at a time when women's participation in science was discouraged. Download high resolution version (774x1100, 134 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (774x1100, 134 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... December 26 is the 360th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, 361st in leap years. ... 1780 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... November 28 is the 332nd day (333rd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Motto: (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots2 Government  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - UK Prime Minister Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by Kenneth I 843  Area    - Total 78,772 km... A science writer is more than a scientific journalist although similarly, a science writer specializes in writing about science topics. ... Leonardo da Vinci is seen as an epitome of the Renaissance man or polymath A polymath (Greek polymathÄ“s, πολυμαθής, meaning knowing, understanding, or having learnt in quantity, compounded from πολυ- much, many, and the root μαθ-, meaning learning, understanding[1]) is a person well educated in a wide variety of subjects or... Woman teaching geometry. ...


She was the daughter of Admiral Sir William George Fairfax, and was born at the manse of Jedburgh, in the Borders, the house of her mother's sister, wife of Dr Thomas Somerville (1741–1830), author of My Own Life and Times, whose son would become Mary's second husband. She received a rather desultory education, and mastered algebra and Euclid in secret after she had left school, and without any external help. In 1804 she married her distant cousin, the Russian Consul in London, Captain Samuel Greig, who died in 1806; they had two children. The rectory is the title usually given to the building inhabited, or formerly inhabited, by the vicar of a parish. ... Location within the British Isles Jedburgh (Referred to locally Jedart or Jethart) is a royal burgh in the Scottish Borders, lying on the Jed Water, a tributary of the River Teviot. ... Scottish Borders (often referred to locally as The Borders or The Borderland) is one of 35 local government unitary council areas of Scotland. ... Algebra is a branch of mathematics concerning the study of structure, relation and quantity. ... Euclid(Greek: ), also known as Euclid of Alexandria, was a Greek mathematician who flourished in Alexandria, Egypt, almost certainly during the reign of Ptolemy I (323–283 BC). ... Consul (abbrev. ... Samuil Karlovich Greig. ...


After the death of her husband the inheritance gave her the freedom to pursue intellectual interests. In 1812 she married another cousin, Dr William Somerville (1771–1860), inspector of the Army Medical Board, who encouraged and greatly aided her in the study of the physical sciences. They had a further four children. After her marriage she made the acquaintance of the most eminent scientific men of the time, among whom her talents had attracted attention before she had acquired general fame, Laplace paying her the compliment of stating that she was the only woman who understood his works. She studied mathematics and astronomy, and became the second woman scientist to receive recognition in the United Kingdom after Caroline Herschel. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens. ... A giant Hubble mosaic of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant. ... Caroline Lucretia Herschel Caroline Lucretia Herschel (March 16, 1750 – January 9, 1848) was a German-born English astronomer. ...


Having been requested by Lord Brougham to translate for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge the Mécanique Céleste of Laplace, she greatly popularized its form, and its publication in 1831, under the title of The Mechanism of the Heavens, at once made her famous. Her other works are the Connection of the Physical Sciences (1834), Physical Geography (1848), and Molecular and Microscopic Science (1869). In 1835, she and Caroline Herschel became the first women members of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 1838 she and her husband went to Italy, where she spent much of the rest of her life. Lord Henry Peter Brougham Baron Brougham & Vaux sitting as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (September 19, 1778 - May 7, 1868) was Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. ... The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge was founded in 1828 in London, mainly at the instigation of Lord Brougham with the objects of publishing information to people who were unable to obtain formal teaching, or who preferred self-education. ... The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) began as the Astronomical Society of London in 1820 to support astronomical research (mainly carried on at the time by gentleman astronomers rather than professionals). ...


Much of the popularity of her writings was due to their clear and crisp style and the underlying enthusiasm for her subject which pervaded them. In 1835 she received a pension of £300 from government. She died at Naples on November 28, 1872, and is buried in the English Cemetery there. In the following year there appeared her autobiographical Personal Recollections, consisting of reminiscences written during her old age, and of great interest both for what they reveal of her own character and life and the glimpses they afford of the literary and scientific society of bygone times. The Bay of Naples Naples (Italian: , Neapolitan: Nàpule, from Greek Νεάπολη < Νέα Πόλις Néa Pólis New City) is the largest city in southern Italy and capital of the Campania region and the Province of Naples. ... November 28 is the 332nd day (333rd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...


Somerville College, Oxford, was named after Mary Somerville. The term "scientist" was first coined by William Whewell in an 1834 review of Somerville's On the Connexion of the Sciences. Full name Somerville College Motto Donec rursus impleat orbem Named after Mary Somerville Previous Names Somerville Hall Established 1879 Sister College Girton College Principal Dame Fiona Caldicott JCR President Simon Bruegger MCR President Allen Middlebro Location Woodstock Road, Oxford Undergraduates 396 Graduates 88 Homepage Boat Club Somerville College is one... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... William Whewell In later life William Whewell (May 24, 1794 – March 6, 1866) was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. ...


Somerville Island (54°44'N 130°17'W) [1] off British Columbia near the border with Alaska was named after her by Sir William Edward Parry. Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Official languages English de facto (none stated in law) Flower Pacific dogwood Tree Western Redcedar Bird Stellers Jay Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Parliamentary representation  - House seats  - Senate seats 36 6 Area... Official language(s) English Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Area  Ranked 1st  - Total 663,267 sq mi (1,717,855 km²)  - Width 808 miles (1,300 km)  - Length 1,479 miles (2,380 km)  - % water 13. ... William Edward Parry Sir William Edward Parry (December 19, 1790 – 8 or 9 July 1855) was an English rear-admiral and Arctic explorer. ...


References and Notes

    • Somerville, Martha loved to fart

    . Personal Recollections, From Early Life to Old Age, of Mary Somerville. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1874. (written by her daughter) Reprinted by AMS Press (January 1996), ISBN 0-404-56837-8 Fully accessible from Google Books project. This page is a summary of services and tools provided by Google Inc. ...

    • Neeley, Kathryn A. Mary Somerville: Science, Illumination, and the Female Mind, Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

    See also

    Leonardo da Vinci is seen as an epitome of the Renaissance man or polymath A polymath (Greek polymathēs, πολυμαθής, meaning knowing, understanding, or having learnt in quantity, compounded from πολυ- much, many, and the root μαθ-, meaning learning, understanding[1]) is a person well educated in a wide variety of subjects or...

    External links

    • O'Connor, John J., and Edmund F. Robertson. "Mary Somerville". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.
    • Mary Somerville, an article by Anonymous, Atlantic Monthly 5 (May 1860), 568-571.
    • Mary Somerville's Biography – by M.T. Bruck, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, vol.106, no.4, 201-206.

      Results from FactBites:
     
    Mary Somerville - Search Results - MSN Encarta (200 words)
    Somerville (New Jersey), borough, seat of Somerset County, north central New Jersey, on the Raritan River; incorporated as a borough 1909.
    Mary Somerville (December 26, 1780 November 28, 1872) was a Scottish science writer.
    Written by Shane Wood, Class of 1997 (Agnes Scott College) Mary Fairfax Somerville was born on December 26, 1780 in Jedburgh Scotland, the daughter of Margaret Charters and Lieutenant William...
    Ockham's Razor - 3 June 2001  - Mary Somerville (2149 words)
    Mary was hesitant, but agreed to attempt the task on two conditions: the first that the endeavour be kept secret, and the second that if it were not satisfactory, her work should be burnt.
    As Mary knew most of the principal scientists of the day, she got her knowledge of advances in science 'from the horse's mouth', as it were, and the editions illustrate the progress of science through four decades.
    Mary felt keenly that she was not an original scientist, that she lacked that spark and that probably women were not gifted with that type of creativity.
      More results at FactBites »

     
     

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