Google is celebrating the hundredth birth anniversary of Dr. Asima Chatterjee, an Indian chemist, who contributed in the field of organic chemistry. It must be noted that she was the first woman to be awarded a Doctorate in Sciences by an Indian university, the University of Calcutta.
In the Doodle, there is a bespectacled woman with organic compound structures making up the Google logo around her, signifying Dr. Chatterjee’s contribution to organic chemistry.
Born on 23 September, 1917, she was also the first woman to be elected as the General President of the Indian Science Congress in 1975.
Over sixty years of research, Dr. Chatterjee has contributed significantly in the field of medicinal chemistry. Her focus was mostly on alkaloid, coumarins, and terpenoids.
She had also developed an anti-epileptic drug called Ayush-56 and an anti-malarial drug. These patented drugs are marketed by many companies. In fact, she often stressed on the use of indigenous plants to form drugs and its intermediaries.
She graduated from the Scottish Church College in Kolkata with honours in Chemistry (1936). Over the years she has been a recipient of numerous awards, like the CV Raman award, PC Ray award and the SS Bhatnagar award.
She was also honoured with the third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan, for her contribution to science.
Known to be a woman of substance, according to the Google blogpost, in 1967, Dr. Chatterjee had lost her father and husband within a gap of four months.
Her husband Dr. Barananda Chatterjee passed away leaving her with a daughter who was still a child, Dr. Chatterjee lifted her spirits and resumed her work in contributing to science. It also said that her husband had a great influence over her life.
Over the years, she has been a leading member in various science delegations in India and abroad. She was also nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha by the then President of India in the 1980s.