Meet an amazing woman in STEAM via our Lifeology Historic STEAM Heroes course. This month, meet pioneering nurse, Florence Nightingale.
People in STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, and math) are blazing trails—both people from history and in the world today. We want more people to know about these people and their excellent but often under-promoted work, including children (and adults!) who might dream of careers in STEAM fields!
Each month, we feature a new person from history in our Historic STEAM Heroes Lifeology card deck. These people often faced adversity and overcame obstacles to become the STEAM heroes that they are today!
Is there someone from history that you would like to nominate? Help us curate examples of historic steam heroes from around the world—not just Western culture. You can nominate here.
Keep reading to learn about the woman featured for the month of May!
Florence Nightingale is featured in our Historic STEAM Heroes course.
For World Nurses Day (which happens to be Florence Nightingale’s birthday), we feature an amazing nurse who is dear to Lifeology. Did you know our logo is inspired by Florence Nightingale?
Nightingale rescued an owl from Athens, named her Athena and had the owl with her most everywhere she went—traveling in her pocket and medicine chest. Thus, the Lifeology logo bares a bird (a nightingale, specifically) in the crest, inspired and named after Nightingale’s Athena.
But who is Florence Nightingale? Celebrate this pioneering nurse with us on World Nurses Day, which brings Nurses Week to a close.
May 12, 1820 to August 13, 1910
Florence Nightingale is most notably the “founder of modern nursing,” working tirelessly to reform the system as she first knew it. You may famously know her as “The Lady with the Lamp.” As a British nurse, Nightingale made numerous rounds to the wounded Crimean War soldiers she cared for during the night, and famous portraits of her doing so—holding her trusty lamp—were created. She cared deeply for the soldiers, often writing letters to loved ones on their behalf.
From her time during the Crimean War, Nightingale learned a lot and desired to make changes. Fighting to make nursing a respected profession, she wrote a book called Notes on Nursing. This book is regarded as a pioneering text of the field. She also emphasized training schools for nurses—setting up the first school for nurses in 1860. With the hospital planning and design experience she picked up during her time in the war, she worked to improve hospitals all over the world.
She was also a founder of data visualization. As a statistician, Nightingale created graphical presentations of her statistical data. She’s even credited with creating one of the first versions of a pie chart. She used her data, and the visual representations of them, to campaign and work toward the social reform she desired.
And Nightingale was a science communicator in her own right, too! Notes on Nursing was not her only body of work. She wrote over 150 books, pamphlets and reports on health-related issues. It was through written correspondence that Nightingale continued to work and fight for social reform as she was bedridden for much of her later life.
We hope you can see how Nightingale’s science communicating, social reforming and visualization of data made her a perfect inspiration for the Lifeology brand. Through her beliefs and accomplishments, Florence Nightingale not only represents our ideals for accessible science/health knowledge for ALL, but also as a beacon for us to strive to.
Check out our Historic STEAM Heroes Course now.
And we have a Lifeology course featuring Florence Nightingale. Check out “What Florence Nightingale Taught Us About Airborne Infection.”
Read more about Florence Nightingale:
Florence Nightingale | National Women’s History Museum
How Florence Nightingale Paved the Way for the Heroic Work of Nurses Today
The Life of Florence Nightingale – Libraries
The Defiance of Florence Nightingale | History | Smithsonian Magazine