The letters written between Florence Bascom and her mentor Victor Goldschmidt describe their close bond. Their letters also describe the tragedy faced by Goldschmidt as a result of World War I and the post-war economic crisis in Germany. In these letters we see a side of Bascom most biographies fail to mention. Bascom’s relationship with Goldschmidt shaped her into the “Stone Lady” we celebrate today.
Florence Bascom faced discrimination throughout her life that left her isolated. I discuss Bascom’s struggles with discrimination and use that to highlight the abuse and bias women still face in geosciences.
Florence Bascom forever changed the landscape of geology in the United States. She was the first woman professional geologist in the US, and she made many contributions that are still cited today. She truly was a foundational scientist.