Some History of Girls in Space and Science

Madame Du Châtelet at her Desk by an unknown French artist

Emilie Du Chatelet (1706-1749)

French Physicist and Mathematician who translated Newton’s Principia, into French, which was published after her death. Du Chatelet disguised herself as a man in order to study science, and was supported by her father to seek an education because he thought she was too ugly to receive a marriage proposal, although she did marry at 19 years of age.

She later became the mistress of Voltaire, who wrote a “Preface historique” to Principia. In a letter to his friend King Frederick II of Prussia, Voltaire declared that du Châtelet was “a great man whose only fault was being a woman.”