Another week – another quote I found from the absolutely amazing illustrated book Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky!
This is one quote that’s hard to live by, but the person behind it really did.
Rita Levi-Montalcini was a nobel prize winning jewish nevrobiologist, who became 103 years old. She won the nobel prize for research in nerve growth and understanding of the development of the nervous system, by studying embryos. There were a lot of odds against her, being italian under Mousselini, jewish and surviving two world wars, not to mention being a woman. She was a feminist very adamantly straying from the expected path of marriage and family, choosing to go to university and becoming a pioneer in science and medicine. To which she says she was never lonely or had regrets about.
She had to withdraw from university in Italy as anti-semitism grew, established a laboratory in her bedroom and when bombs fell she would bring her research to the safety of the basement. When she and her family had to go in hiding during the Holocaust, she got some eggs and continued studying the nerve tissues of the embryo, which eventually led to her prize winning theories. The stories of this woman and those like her never cease to amaze me in their persistence. And how little I know of them before I look, which “women in science” gives a great starting point of.