Category: science baby names
Are you a physics whiz who daydreams of soaring through Earth’s atmosphere? Did you meet your spouse at a screening of Black Sky: The Race for Space? Have you ever parked on the shoulder of a freeway to watch a shuttle landing? If so, your youngster may need an aerospace name. Here are a few uplifting options that are more accessible than Moon Unit.
Valentina Tereshkova: She was the very first woman in orbit, floating aboard the Soviet capsule Vostok 6 in 1963. Salma Hayek’s daughter has helped to re-launch this euphonious name, which is from the Latin Valens for “healthy, vigorous, strong.”
Camille Wardrop Alleyne: Born in Trinidad, she worked as an aerospace engineer for the U.S. Department of Defense before rising to Assistant Program Scientist for the International Space Station (ISS) at NASA. The elegant Camille has the added bonus of a trendy nickname—Milla. See also: fellow NASA leader Ginger Kerrick, who has served as Flight Director of 13 ISS missions.
Everyone loves a freshly hatched word name or a fledgling celebrity baby name, and many of us appreciate names that stem from flowers, trees, and animals. But for the true biophile, the bug-sketching natural philosopher or the biochemistry disciple who chops thale cress in the lab? Here are some worthy tribute names for the lovers of the life sciences.
Rosalind (Rosalind Elsie Franklin): Rosalind Franklin was an X-ray crystallographer and unsung hero of molecular biology, and her diffraction patterns gave competitor-colleagues James Watson and Francis Crick crucial insight on the three-dimensional structure of DNA. Her death at age 37 disqualified her for the 1962 Nobel Prize for Medicine. The meaning of Rosalind is as prepossessing as Dr. Franklin’s acclaimed x-ray photographs—“pretty rose”.
Jane (Valerie Jane Morris Goodall): Jane is a true classic, not only in the English-speaking world of names but also in conservation biology. Goodall’s observations on chimpanzee behavior have done much to promote empathy toward animals. The name of the childhood toy chimpanzee that inspired her enthusiasm for animals was Jubilee, and later, one of her favorite female chimps she dubbed Gremlin. Gremlin may not be the next great classic for a baby girl, but other renowned conservationists with classic names will inspire: Helen Beatrix Potter and Rachel Carson.
To commemorate this week’s International Women’s Day (we’re only a day late), we thought that this time we’d look not at creative artists or political figures, but at accomplished female scientists and mathematicians. These range in time from the 4th century BC to the recent past, all of them women who had to overcome the cultural biases against females in their fields–all inspirational namesakes. Brainy names for brainy babies!
And in the usual nameberry fashion, we’re not aiming to be comprehensive, but focusing as much on noteworthy names as on notable achievements. So apologies to the many Marys, andMaries who don’t appear below..
ALESSANDRA Giliani –14th century Italian anatomist, reputedly the first person to use the injection of colored fluids to trace blood vessels.
DOROTHEA Klumpke was an internationally known astronomer who studied meteorites and broke several gender barriers.
ÉMILIE du Châtenet – Translated Newton’s Principia into French and deduced the conservation of energy.