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Women in STEM - Anna Mani

Anna Modayil Mani was born in Kerala in 1918, the seventh of eight children.

In Anna's household, her brothers were being groomed for college and careers, and her sisters were being groomed for marriage. Anna wanted nothing more than to be left alone to read and study. By the time she was eight, she had read every book in her local library, and for her birthday that year, declined a gift of diamond earrings for a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

In 1939, Anna received her Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and Physics. She then obtained a scholarship for graduate level studies and graduated from the Imperial College in London with an advanced degree in meteorological instruments.

After Anna returned to India in 1948, she published many papers on meteorological instrumentation, and began her life’s work in the field. By 1952, she was leading a team of 121 men in her division.

Anna spent her life dedicated to scientific study, never marrying, but pioneering development in solar energy harvesting and ideas related to what we now know as the ozone layer in our atmosphere. She went on to serve as a part of the Indian Government, and retired as the deputy director general of the Indian Meteorological department in 1976. Anna passed away in 2001, and was recognized by the World Meteorological Organization for what would have been her 100th birthday.

For even more information on Anna Mani, check out her Wikipedia page.

And you can also watch this short documentary on YouTube.

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