Dr. Lili Hornig

Chemist
Lilli Hornig was a scientist who was prominently known for working on the Manhattan Project and for her studies regarding the substance plutonium. Hornig got her bachelor’s degree at Bryn Mawr in 1942 and later on she got her Phd from Harvard in 1950. During her college career, she married Donald Hornig in 1943, and they both moved to Los Alamos for future job opportunities. Hornig was originally taking a typing test when it was discovered that she had commendable scientific skills and was offered a job as a staff scientist for the project. She worked on plutonium chemistry for a few months before it was deemed dangerous for women to work on and was later moved to work on high explosive lenses with her husband.
Lilli Hornig, PhD was a scientist prominently known for working on the Manhattan Project and her studies regarding the substance plutonium. Hornig got her bachelor’s degree at Bryn Mawr in 1942 and later earned her PhD from Harvard in 1950. During her college career, she married Donald Hornig in 1943, and they both moved to Los Alamos for future job opportunities. Hornig was originally taking a typing test when it was discovered that she had commendable scientific skills and was offered a job as a staff scientist for the project. She worked on plutonium chemistry for a few months before it was deemed dangerous for women to work on and was later moved to work on high explosive lenses with her husband.
Together, they experimented with different properties involving the explosive charges that atomic bombs give off when they detonate and studied the energy that would be released as well. Hornig signed a petition during her time in Los Alamos urging scientists to test the first atomic bomb on an uninhabited island for demonstration purposes. After concluding her research, Hornig became a chemistry professor at Brown University and a chairwoman of the chemistry department at Trinity College in Washington D.C. She was later appointed by President Johnson to work on a mission for the Republic of Korea, which later established the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. She founded Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) and became a research chair of the Committee for the Equality of Women at Harvard. Hornig wrote and published multiple books that outlined the many studies of women’s science education and careers.
Lilli Hornig will always be remembered for contributions towards science and the field of chemistry especially with her work on plutonium studies.

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