Due by 5/20. No exceptions the Paper



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Chemistry extra credit assignment—biography. Up to 30 test points. DUE BY 5/20. NO EXCEPTIONS

The Paper

Your biography must have several sections (listed below). Each section should be as long as a page or two (3 page minimum. 12 Point Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1 inch margins) The questions listed below each section heading are merely for guidance. They do not represent the totality of the types of questions you might answer within each section.



  1. Personal Biography: the story of the scientist’s life

    • Where was the person born? Tell about their family, marriage, children, and where they worked. Describe their education.

    • What was the person’s childhood like? How did they become interested in science?

    • Was the person successful? Did they struggle to make ends meet?

  2. Scientific Biography: the story of the scientist’s work

    • What kind of scientific work did the person do? Did he or she work alone, with a partner or with a group of researchers?

    • What did the person discover? Explain in as much detail as you can.

    • Did the person invent anything or change the world during their lifetime? Did their life lead to social changes, such as a greater acceptance of women in science? Tell the story.

    • Was the person’s work controversial? Describe and explain the controversy and how it was resolved.

    • Did they receive recognition for their work? Why or why not?

  3. Personal and Scientific Legacy: what does their work mean for us today?

    • How did their work affect scientists who came after them?

    • Did their work lead to new technology that changes how people work? Did their work lead to a deeper understanding of the world?

    • Does their work have any implications for everyday life? What? Explain.

The Bibliography

You must have at least five sources. Your bibliography must be in standard form. Points will be deducted for improperly formatted bibliographies.


Scientists you may Study

The following list of scientists contains mostly those who studied physics or chemistry. A few were involved in the study of medicine, biology, or ecology.





  • Virginia Apgar

  • Amadeo Avogadro

  • Henri Antoine Bequerel

  • Daniel Bernoulli

  • Jons Jacob Berzellius

  • Niels Bohr

  • Ludwig Boltzmann

  • Robert Boyle

  • Johannes Nicolaus Brønsted

  • Robert Wilhelm Bunsen

  • Rachel Carson

  • Sir Humphry Davy

  • Paul Dirac

  • James Dewar

  • Emilie du Châtelet

  • Albert Einstein

  • Michael Faraday

  • Enrico Fermi

  • Richard Feynman

  • Rosalind Franklin

  • Werner Karl Heisenberg

  • Hypatia of Alexandra

  • Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac

  • Gilbert N. Lewis

  • Irène Joliot-Curie

  • Antoine Lavoisier

  • Marie Anne Paulze (Lavoisier)

  • Lise Meitner

  • Dmitri Mendeleev

  • John von Neumann

  • Isaac Newton

  • J. Robert Oppenheimer

  • Louis Pasteur

  • Wolfgang Pauli

  • Linus Pauling

  • Max Planck

  • Joseph Priestley

  • Sir William Ramsay

  • Ernest Rutherford

  • Carl Wilhelm Scheele

  • Erwin Schrödinger

  • Glenn Seaborg

  • William Thomson (Lord Kelvin)




Follow this general procedure:

    1. Find and collect your sources and prepare your bibliography.

    2. Carefully read your sources and take notes on things you would like to include in your paper.

    3. Write your paper from the standpoint of a knowledgeable person. If you come to a point in the story where you don’t know what happens next, go back to your sources…or find a new source!

    4. Read your paper carefully and take out anything which does not contribute useful information about your person.

  • Do not be tempted to pad your paper with empty sentences: make sure everything you write communicates an important detail or explains an idea. A professional paper is not trying to impress anyone—it just tells an interesting story.

  • Make your paper interesting to read. Tell the story of the person’s life as a story.


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