Notable Women in the Physical Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary

By Benjamin F. Shearer; Barbara S. Shearer | Go to book overview
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Birth July 14, 1911
1935 Ph.D., physics, University of Munich
1935-39 Research Associate, Imperial College, University of
1939 Married Maurice Goldhaber
1939-50 Research Physicist, University of Illinois
1950-79 Physicist, Brookhaven National Laboratory
1972 Elected to National Academy of Sciences
1972-74 Research Advisory Committee, National Science
1973-81 Report Review Committee, National Academy of Sciences
1974-77 Science Consultant, Arms Control and Disarmament
1983-88 Visiting Scholar, National Advisory Committee on Science,
Technology, and Society
1984-85 Visiting Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa
1984-87 Committee on Human Rights, National Academy of

Gertrude Goldhaber has been not only a respected researcher in nuclear energy but also an effective voice for women in science. Brookhaven National Laboratory recognized her contribution with an award in her name.

Gertrude "Trudy" Scharff Goldhaber was born in Mannheim, Germany, in 1911, the daughter of Otto Scharff and Nelly (nee Steinharter). As a 4-year-old, she first realized a fascination with numbers. Her family moved to Munich when she was 5, and it was there she grew up. As a teenager she decided to study physics and mathematics, even though at that time in Germany it was expected that girls studying such subjects would become schoolteachers.

Gertrude did not, however, desire to work in the field of education. Her father had suggested she study law so she could help him with litigation related to the family's century-old wholesale and retail food


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Notable Women in the Physical Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary
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