A renowned Indian physicist and meteorologist who defied gender norms is getting a bit more attention today thanks to Google Doodle.
The doodle depicts Anna Mani working in front of various weather images. Images spell “Google” on the search engine’s homepage. Google released the doodle on August 23, which would have been Mani’s 104th birthday. Mani started trending on Google soon after.
Mani was dedicated to her work. Although almost 90% of Indian women chose to get married, she remained single and committed to her career throughout her life. Mani’s life work led to her nickname “Weather Woman”. His work has enabled India to make accurate weather forecasts.
“We only have one life,” Mani reportedly said. “First, equip yourself for the job, make full use of your talents, then love and enjoy the work.”
Before 1947, India did not have the meteorological tools to predict the weather. All tools obtained by the South Asian country had to be imported from abroad.
In 1948 Mani started working with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in Pune in the Instrument Division headed by SP Venkiteshwaran. Venkiteshwaran hoped to make India self-sufficient in meteorology and meteorology. Mani contributed to his efforts. She sought out skilled workers to outfit sophisticated weather machines. She also standardized the blueprint for about 100 weather instruments and began production, according to Women’s Web.
Mani has also advocated for sustainable energy and published several scholarly articles on various topics including solar radiation, ozone, diamond luminescence, and wind energy instruments.
Mani took a deep interest in solar radiation and began designing and manufacturing instruments to measure radiation in the late 1950s. She also recognized the potential of wind power. She hoped that India could learn how to harness the wind to generate power, and then install wind-measuring equipment in 700 locations in India to study wind patterns.
Thanks to Mani’s dedication, India is now a world leader in wind energy.
Mani pursued her studies at a time when there were not many academic options for Indian women, especially in science.
She attended Women’s Christian College to complete her intermediate science course before transferring to Presidency College, Madras, according to Women’s Web. She then obtained her baccalaureate with honors in physics and chemistry in 1939.
Her passion began when she was a young girl when she would have loved reading. Some reports show that Mani is known to have read most of the books in her hometown library when she was 12 years old.
“The fact that I am a woman has absolutely no bearing on what I chose to do with my life,” Mani reportedly said. “What’s all the hype about women and science?”
Mani was born into a Syrian Christian family on August 23, 1918 in Peermade, Travancore, Kerala. She was the seventh of eight children.
A visit to his hometown by civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi in 1925 influenced Mani at the age of 7, who then decided to pursue a life of higher education, unlike his sisters.
She was a member of the Indian National Science Academy, American Meteorological Society, and International Solar Energy Society, among others.
She has been recognized countless times and received many accolades, such as the INSA KR Ramanathan Medal in 1987. The medal recognized her contributions to science.
Mani’s hobbies transcended science and she would have liked to be in nature and watch birds.
A stroke in 1994 left Mani paralyzed. She died on August 16, 2001, a week before her 83rd birthday.
Although Google Doodles can sometimes seem like a random modification of the Google logo on the website, they usually celebrate a significant event or historical figure.