The twentieth century opened a door for innovation in science and technology. Great minds steadily unlocked the mysteries of the world and made life better for countless people. One of those great minds was Arkansas research scientist Dr. Margaret Pittman, a woman whose research has helped save millions of lives.
Pittman was born in Washington Grove in Northwest Arkansas in 1901. Her father, Dr. James Pittman, was a respected physician in Washington County and introduced her to the world of science and the study of health. As a child, she and her brother and sister would often assist their father in his medical practice though that would not be permitted in any medical practice today.
In 1919, her father died after an attack of appendicitis. However, he had arranged for all of his children to attend Hendrix College in Conway. The family, however, still struggled as they completed their studies. Nevertheless, Pittman excelled and earned degrees in math and biology when she graduated in 1923. After graduation, she wanted to pursue a career in science, but her immediate options were limited. In the meantime, she went into education. She taught briefly at Galloway College in Searcy, which was a local girl’s school, and quickly rose to the position of principal. When the opportunity to study science at the graduate level came along, she jumped at the chance.
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