Today’s Dame of the Day is Margaret Murnane (1959-). Her father, a primary school teacher, exposed her to the world of physics, but her interest in the subject took off when she reached college. She left Ireland for the University of California at Berkeley to complete her Ph.D in the field. Through her research, Murnane build the world’s fastest laser, capable of flashing at ten quadrillions of a second, that allows scientists to record atoms’ movements within chemical reactions. In 2000, she won a MacArthur Fellowship.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Constance Markievicz (February 4, 1868 – July 15, 1927). While she married a Polish count, Markievicz identified with her Irish roots and took an active role in the fight for Irish independence. She taught young scouts how to bear arms, commanded troops in St. Stephen’s Green during the Easter Uprising and, after the British army captured her, served time in Kilmainham Gaol. Following the formation of the Republic, she became one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position as the Minister of Labor.