Welcome to the fourth edition of Know-A-Scientist, here to test how well we know our scientists.
I’ve changed things up this week, there will no longer be a two-part publication of this feature, in which the second part reveals the answer of who the chosen scientist of the week is. Know-A-Scientist will just be one completed post with a photo and a short biography from the outset.
Can you name this scientist before scrolling down to find the answer?
Stop scrolling here if you want to guess before finding out the correct answer.
Jill Bolte Taylor (b. 1959)
Born in Kentucky to a maths professor mother and a father who was an Episcopal minister, Jill went on to become a neuroanatomist, as well as finding herself amongst 99 other distinguished people on TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008.
From a very early age, Jill became intrigued with how the brain works because she had noticed that her brother had varying behaviours and personalities around different people. He was also very intelligent and creative; academically bright, enjoyed writing poems and painting. As he got older, however, his temperament revealed a much darker side; expressed in the changes that were observed in what he painted and wrote about. There were clear signs of psychosis. Just one year after Jill had commenced a neuroanatomy doctoral program at Indiana State University, her brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In light of that, Jill had a new drive and decided to focus her research on schizophrenia. She wanted to know what was so different about her brother’s brain that caused such a severe thought disorder and the agony it put him through.
She went on to specialise her research on the postmortem human brain of those who suffered from schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses, and as well as becoming a well published neuroanatomist, she has been an active member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) since 1993 and is the president of the organisation in Bloomington, Indiana.
“How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out?” — Jill Bolte Taylor