Celebrating The Invisible Scientist

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Esther Lederberg's 100th birthday

Esther Lederberg, the invisible scientist. She was someone who pioneered microbiology techniques that are still used today yet she was overlooked for a Nobel Prize, which was instead awarded to her husband.

The discovery of Lambda Phage, the invention of Replica Plating and the identification of the Fertility Factor. These are all ground-breaking contributions to science that we can thank Esther Lederberg for.

Breaking into a male only occupation, Esther had to fight to pursue her passion for science at every turn and despite this, was one of the most successful scientists of her time. Today we celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday with comments from our very own female microbiologists.

“Esther Lederberg was an incredible scientist, who made valuable contributions to the world of bacterial genetics. The fact she was able to make such an influence as a woman during that time stands out to me, empowers me, and spurs me on to further my career in microbiology.”

 – Kirsty McTear

“Esther Lederberg first described the technique of replica plating; a method used to inoculate several selective agar plates with the same microorganisms from a primary plate, in the same formation. This concept has had a significant impact on the work we do here in the DWS lab, as the basic principles can be applied to multipoint inoculating several microorganisms on to one agar plate at the same time when performing agar MIC testing.”

 – Charlotte Austin

As a company with deep roots within the microbiology industry we thank Esther Lederberg and all those the came before and after her for their contribution to the scientific community and paved the way for women in science.

For more information about our contract laboratory or our history click the links below.

                  Microbiology Laboratory                        History of DWS


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