FOOTE, EUNICE NEWTON
“Circumstances affecting the heat of the sun’s rays”, pp 382-83 in: The American Journal of Science and Arts, Second Series, Vol. XXII — November, 1856 (Whole Volume). New York: G.P. Putnam & Co., 1856
Octavo (243 x 154 mm). Three engraved plates, folding engraved map, woodcut text figures. Original printed wrappers, untrimmed; some occasional light marginal foxing, wrappers chipped at head and foot of spine.
FIRST PRINTING OF THE TRUE FIRST DISCOVERY OF "GREENHOUSE GASES," AND ESPECIALLY THAT CARBON DIOXIDE ("CARBONIC ACID GAS") IS THE WORST OF THEM, PREDICTING EXPLICITLY THAT "AN ATMOSPHERE OF THAT GAS WOULD GIVE TO OUR EARTH A HIGH TEMPERATURE."
Yet again, a brilliant woman's work goes uncredited; the present paper was read aloud for Foote (not by her) before the American Association on August 23rd, 1856, and yet, the credit for the discovery of Greenhouse gases has been given to Svante Arrhenius, who did not write about the Greenhouse effect until 1896, a full FORTY years after Foote's announcement. Arrhenius would go on to be awarded the 1903 Nobel prize in chemistry, and made director of the Nobel Institute in 1905. Foote's prescient paper is now the focus of a forthcoming exhibition "From Eunice Foote to UCSB: A story of women, science, and climate change," University of California, Santa Barbara, October 2019-June 2020.
L. McNeill “This lady scientist defined the greenhouse effect but didn’t get the credit, because sexism”, SmithsonianMag.com 5 December 2016; E. W. Reed American women in science before the Civil War (1992, 2019) pages 64–68; R. P. Sorenson “Eunice Foote’s pioneering research on CO2 and climate warming,” Search and discovery (American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa) no. 70092 (31 January 2011); J. Perlin “Science knows no gender: Eunice Foote, the woman who in 1856 discovered the cause of global warming” (symposium, UC Santa Barbara, 17 May 2018)