Louise du Pierry

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Elisabeth Louise Félicité du Pierry , née Pourra de la Madeleine, also Dupiery or du Piéry, (* 1746 ) was a French astronomer during the Enlightenment . She was the first professor of astronomy at the Sorbonne .

Du Pierry began to occupy himself with astronomy in 1779 after meeting Jérôme Lalande . They calculated eclipses (eclipses), and the lunar orbit, tables of astronomical refraction (as a function of declination and right ascension for Paris) and the day and night lengths on the latitude of Beziers , where the successor of Nicole-Reine Lepaute as Was a member of the Béziers Academy.

Your eclipse calculations were used by Lalande in his work on the lunar orbit. For Lalande, she also collected historical data on eclipses over the past hundred years.

She is considered the first woman to teach at the university in France: in 1789 she gave public astronomy courses for women at the Sorbonne ( Cours d' astronomie ouvert pour les dames et mis à leur portée ). In 1790 Lalande dedicated his book Astronomy des Dames to her , describing her as an intellectual role model for women.


  • Marilyn Ogilvie, Joy Harvey (Eds.): The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, Routledge 2000, Volume 2

Individual evidence

  1. Ogilvie et al. a., Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, Routledge 2000, Volume 2. Thereafter, the date of death is unknown and it is stated that little is known about her life. In Bonnie G. Smith (ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in History , Oxford University Press 2008, Volume 1, p. 181, the date of death is given as 1789 and Kosmann-Schwarzbach, Women mathematicians in France in the mid-twentieth cenutury , Arxiv-Preprint 2015, gives 1806 as the date of death.
  2. ^ Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in History, Volume 1, p. 181