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She Cracked the Mystery of How to Split the Atom, but Someone Else Got the Nobel Prize

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[New to Lost Women of Science? You can listen to our most recent episode of Lost Women of Science Shorts here and our most recent multiepisode season here.]

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Marissa Moss: Her crowning achievement as her colleagues mocked, was to win the Nobel Prize for the chemist she worked with, Otto Hahn, who did not discover nuclear fission, but did the experiments that led her to that incredible conclusion.

Katie Hafner: I’m Katie Hafner and this is Lost Women of Science. Over the past few weeks we’ve been bringing you a series of stories about women who worked on the Manhattan Project. But today, we’re sharing the story of one who refused to have anything to do with it: physicist Lise Meitner, the scientist whose work was key to the discovery of nuclear fission.

We’re diving into one particularly illuminating aspect of Meitner’s story: her letters with her closest colleague, Otto Hahn.

Katie Hafner: Marissa, how many, what’s your estimate on how many letters you translated?

Marissa Moss: Oh my gosh. Well, it’s like 500 pages of letters and…



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