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Category: scientific baby names

posted by: mill1020 View all posts by this author
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By Laura Miller Brennan

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.

Girls:

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.

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Techie Baby Names: Do they compute?

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In a recent issue of PCWorld magazine, JR Raphael wrote an interesting and amusing article highlighting ten tech-inspired baby names.  He was kind enough to give us permission to use some of his examples and add more of our own—names that might provide some extra inspiration to some techie parents out there without sounding as weird as, say, Audio Science.  So no, we’re not suggesting dot.com or Tweet or even Apple.

Conveniently for us, many computer programming languages were given people names, including those in this list of techie baby names with no ID following the name.

GIRLS

Adacomputer programming language, probably named in honor of Ada Lovelace, (born Augusta Ada, daughter of Lord Byron), considered to be the first programmer.

Agnesa computer in the original Twilight Zone TV series

Alice

Claire

Clarisa company producing Apple software

Dell

Doraa starship computer in Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love

GraceRear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper was a pioneering computer scientist whose work led to the development of one of the first modern programming languages.

Hope

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scifem5

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..

ADA Lovelace, aka AUGUSTA Ada Byron – daughter of the poet, a mathematician who contributed to research that led to the modern computer.

ALESSANDRA Giliani –14th century Italian anatomist, reputedly the first person to use the injection of colored fluids to trace blood vessels.

AMALIE Emmy Noether – (known as EMMY) – did work relating to the general theory of relativity and ring theory.

ARTEMISIA, Queen of Caria (c. 300 BC), a botanist and medical researcher; the plant genis Artemisia is named for her.

CECILIA Payne-Gaposchkin– as a graduate student in 1925, she established one of the fundamental theories of astrophysics, that stars were made up of hydrogen and helium.

DOROTHEA Klumpke was an internationally known astronomer who studied meteorites and broke several gender barriers.

ELENA LUCREZIA Cornaro Piscopia –a 17th century Venetian mathematician, the first woman to earn a PhD.

ELSA Beata Bunge – Well known early Swedish botanist who wrote on the nature of vine grapes.

ÉMILIE du Châtenet – Translated Newton’s Principia into French and deduced the conservation of energy.

GERTY Theresa Cori (shown) was awarded a 1947 Nobel Laureate for her medical research, which she shared with her husband.

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