Did you know that Laura Maria Caterina Bassi was the first woman to be a professor? Bassi was an amazing scientist and lecturer in her day. She also played with some of other scientists theories.
Laura Maria Caterina Bassi was born on October 31, 1711 into a wealthy Italian family. Her parents were, Giuseppe Bassi and her mother Rosa Cesarei. Her father was a Bolognese jurist and a lawyer. When she was a child, there were many diseases and she was the only child in her family to make it to adulthood. Throughout her childhood, she was mostly studying. Her father paid for her to be privately educated, and between the ages of 13 and 21, she was tutored by a professor at the College of Medicine. This professors’ name was Gaetano Tacconi. Some people believe that she studied at an advanced level of natural history, anatomy, logic, chemistry, hydraulics, metaphysics, algebra, geometry, ancient Greek, Latin Italian, French, and philology.
At the age of 20, she became a professor at a European University. She’s mostly famous for being the first female professor to teach. In 1734 she was appointed a chair of philosophy at the University of Bologna. Even though she was a professor, it was frowned upon for her to teach a room full of male students. At a lavish ceremony, that was also open to the public, she was awarded her doctorate. Other than receiving her doctorate, she was also presented with a jewel encrusted silver crown and ring, and an ermine cape. Not only that, but she was also pioneering in many subjects she taught. She mainly focused on Newtonian physics. For teaching courses of Newtonian physics for 28 years, made her a key figure in introducing Newtonian physics to Italy as well as natural philosophy.
Most people know her as Laura Bassi but she married a lecturer named Giovanni Guiseppe Veratti. So, even though she’s legally Laura Veratti, she is still recognized as Laura Bassi. Over the years, Laura and Giovanni had eight children. Only 5 reached adulthood. Giovanni, Giacomo, and Paolo were three of their sons. Giovanni and Giacomo became canons in the church, Paolo went on to become a physicist, while Catarina, their only surviving daughter, became a nun.
Bassi didn’t really invent or find anything, but she did advocate Franklin’s theory of one electric fluidum. She mostly gave lectures, was the first female professor, and she also did some experiments with other scientists’ theories though. She is mainly recognized for being the first female to teach at a university and being a lecturer. She did do research on more than one subject.
At the University of Bologna, she was appointed Professor of Anatomy. She was given a position in philosophy in 1734. She taught a course in Newtonian Physics for 28 years, and was one of the key figures in introducing Newton’s Physics and Philosophy to Italy. She wrote 28 articles, mainly on physics and hydraulics and they were all published. Later, in …
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