“There are many women who have the ability to become great scientists. I would like to see the day when women can contribute to science & technology on an equal footing with men,” said Katsuko Saruhashi, a Japanese scientist whom GoogleThursday paid tributes to on her 98th birth anniversary. Saruhashi, born on March 22, 1920, in Tokyo, is renowned for her groundbreaking research as a geochemist.

Saruhashi was the first to accurately measure the concentration of carbonic acid in water based on temperature, pH Level, and chlorinity. Named the ‘Saruhashi’s Table’ after her, this methodology has proved invaluable to oceanographers everywhere. She also developed a technique to trace the travel of radioactive fallout across the oceans that led to restricting oceanic nuclear experimentation in 1963.


“Today on her 98th birthday, we pay tribute to Dr. Katsuko Saruhashi for her incredible contributions to science, and for inspiring young scientists everywhere to succeed,” wrote Google in its blog. “A young Katsuko Saruhashi sat in primary school watching raindrops slide down a window and wondered what made it rain. Her journey for answers led her to become the first woman to earn a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Tokyo in 1957,” it added.

In a career which spanned over 35 years. Saruhashi became the first woman elected to the Science Council of Japan in 1980. And also the first woman to be honored with the Miyake Prize. For geochemistry in 1985. She was deeply committed to inspiring young women. To study science, and in 1981. She established the Saruhashi Prize in 1981. Which recognized female scientists for distinguished research in natural sciences.

Saruhashi passed away on September 29, 2007, at the age of 87 of pneumonia at her home in Tokyo.


Google has released a doodle honoring geochemist Katsuko Saruhashi. Here are five things you need to know about her.

She was inspired by rain

A childhood experience of watching raindrops cascade down a primary school classroom’s window inspired Ms. Saruhashi to enter the sciences, according to Google.

She developed a new method for measuring ocean acidity

Referred to as “Saruhashi’s Table”, the method developed by Ms. Saruhashi’s for gauging the concentration of carbonic acid in water has become a global standard.

She helped secure limits on nuclear testing

With her development of a means to measure radioactive fallout present in the Earth’s oceans, a legacy of nuclear tests run the Bikini Atoll, Ms Saruhashi contributed to the US and the Soviet Union agreeing to halt aboveground nuclear tests, according to the A to Z of Women in Science and Math.

She recorded firsts for women

As a prominent scientist, Ms Saruhashi became the first woman to record honours like being named to the Science Council of Japan. She was also the first woman to win Japan’s Miyake Prize for geochemistry.

She sought to help other women

Having achieved acclaim as a groundbreaking scientist, Ms Saruhashi made a point of trying to nurture other womens’ careers. The Saruhashi Prize, awarded since 1981, is given annually to an outstanding Japanese woman researcher.

“There are many women who have the ability to become great scientists”, she said. “I would like to see the day when women can contribute to science & technology on an equal footing with men”.

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