Adelina Gutiérrez Alonso: Advocate for Women’s Rights and Education in Spain

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Adelina Gutiérrez Alonso (27 May 1925 – 11 April 2015) was a Chilean scientist, academic and professor of astrophysics. She was the first Chilean to obtain a doctoral degree in astrophysics and the first woman to become a member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences.

Life and Career

Born in the Chilean capital of Santiago on 27 May 1925, Carmen Adelina Gutiérrez Alonso was determined from a young age to become a science researcher and teacher. Her scientific career formally took off in 1949, when she joined the faculty at the University of Chile, home of the historic National Astronomical Observatory. In her early years, Adelina crunched data from distant stars, including that collected by her colleague Hugo Moreno León; the two eventually married and formed a fruitful partnership that resulted in a wealth of scientific publications.

But for Adelina, the sky wasn’t the limit. To further her exploration into the mysteries of the cosmos, she moved to the United States in the late 1950s. She graduated from the University of Indiana in 1964 with her unprecedented doctorate in astrophysics, and upon her return home, she helped to establish and lead the country’s first Bachelor of Astronomy program at her alma mater, the University of Chile. She died on 11 April 2015 at the age of 85 in Santiago, Chile.

Award and Legacy

In honor of her stellar scientific contributions, Adelina Gutiérrez Alonso became the first woman and astronomer inducted into the Chilean Academy of Sciences in 1967. On 27 May 2020, Google celebrated Adelina Gutiérrez Alonso’s 95th birthday with a doodle.