Eunice Foote was an early American feminist, inventor, and ground-breaking scientist.
Foote’s insights serve as a cornerstone of understanding the greenhouse effect, and her feminist activism created the momentum for changes in the civil, social, and political rights of women. Despite these achievements, few have heard of Foote. John Perlin, an author and visiting scholar in the UCSB Physics Department, is writing a book about Eunice Foote in which he hopes to demonstrate Foote’s primacy in laying the foundation for understanding the greenhouse effect, a critical component of the climate system, and in the process restore her place among other early pioneers, such as John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius.
The story of Eunice Foote demonstrates the deep historical roots of climate change science and demonstrate that women have been making important contributions to climate science for a long time: As Dr. Joe Incandela, UCSB Vice-Chancellor of Research states, “This important history about Eunice Foote needs to hit the main stage in light of its global warming lessons and its revelations about the history of women in science.”
This UCSB Library exhibition will draw on Perlin’s research to illustrate Foote’s contributions to climate science and feminism and connect her legacy to the contributions of faculty at UCSB who study climate change.
Curated by John Perlin, Emily Corb, and Alex Regan, with special thanks to Dr. David Lea and Dr. Kelly Caylor.
Co-sponsored with the Bren School for Environmental Science & Management, the Chancellor's Campus Sustainability Committee, Division of Student Affairs, Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies, the Institute for Energy Efficiency and the UCSB Environmental and Climate Justice Studies Hub