One of the world’s most recognized geochemists, Katsuko Saruhashi, would have been 98-years-old today, and Google is marking this day with a doodle. The doodle is visible in Canada, USA, Iceland, United Kingdom, Croatia, Ireland, Peru, Argentina, India, Japan, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.
Saruhashi became the first woman to earn a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Tokyo in 1957. And this achievement is widely attributed to her curiosity as a child about ‘what made it rain’.
Saruhashi is most famously known for her research as a geochemist. She was the first to accurately measure the concentration of carbonic acid in water based on temperature, pH Level, and chlorinity. Named ‘Saruhashi’s Table’ after her, this methodology has proved invaluable to oceanographers everywhere. Saruhashi is also credited to develop a technique, which helps trace the travel of radioactive fallout across the oceans.
In a roughly 35 year long career, Saruhashi became known for a bunch of achievements. She became the first woman elected to the Science Council of Japan in 1980. She is also the first woman honored with the Miyake Prize for geochemistry in 1985 – among many other awards. Google shares a quote by Saruhashi, “There are many women who have the ability to become great scientists. I would like to see the day when women can contribute to science & technology on an equal footing with men.”
Saruhashi is said to have been deeply committed to inspiring young women to study science. For the same, she also established the Saruhashi Prize in 1981, recognizing female scientists for distinguished research in natural sciences.