• Jenny Ballif
  • Aug 14, 2017

Patron 10 on the Periodic Table of Patrons - Amandite

Amandite is named in honor of Amanda Skenadore, a nurse and author. Her first book, Between Earth and Sky, will be published in May 2018.

When I asked her which scientist she would like to enjoy lunch with, she said:

“I’d love to sit down to lunch with Maria Mitchell. She was born in Massachusetts in 1818 and became the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was also the first female astronomy professor. Her love of the stars came from her father, who first taught her how to use a telescope. Together, they observed and recorded the 1831 solar eclipse. Maria founded a school for girls when she was just 17, teaching her pupils both math and science in a time when such learning was largely restricted to boys. Her most noted achievement occurred in 1847 when she discovered a new comet with her telescope.

How dark the night sky must have been in that time before electricity! Imagine all the stars she would have seen and how vibrant the Milky Way would have appeared. I would love to hear about her telescope and what she thought when she first observed that blurry streak of a comet through her lens. I’d ask her about the challenges she faced as a pioneering woman in science. I’d tell her how much I admire her pluck and curiosity and ask about women, including fellow astronomer Mary Somerville, she in turn admired.”

You can find out more about Amanda and her upcoming book at her websiteor by following her on twitter or facebook.

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Jenny Ballif

Jenny Ballif has worked as a molecular biologist and a wild land firefighter, and at several jobs that fall in between wearing a lab coat and wielding a chainsaw. She is the mother of three kids, wife of one mathematician, and author of several books.