Until modern times, few women were recognized in the world of academia. Carrie Derick, a Canadian botanist and geneticist, upended that norm. Born 155 years ago today, Derick was a trailblazer who fought for women’s rights and helped pave the way for women in education.
In 1890, Derick graduated at the top of her class from Quebec’s McGill University where she would remain for her MA studies. She went on to attend the University of Bonn in Germany, where she completed enough research to earn a Ph.D in 1901. Unfortunately, she did not receive an official doctorate because the school did not award Ph.Ds to women at the time.
Derick persevered, continuing in her career as a botanist and geneticist and in 1912, became Canada’s first female professor at her alma mater, McGill University. She continued to teach there until her retirement in 1929, upon which she was made the first female professor emeritus in Canada.
Throughout her life, Derrick was an advocate for women’s rights and causes, serving as president of the Montréal Suffrage Association from 1913 to 1919.
Today’s Doodle honors Derick, a true pioneer and visionary.