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Google Doodle honors Elena Cornaro Piscopia, first woman with a doctorate

Piscopia, a scholar, prodigy and trail blazer, would have been 373 years old today.

googledoodletoodle

The Google Doodle for June 5.

Google

Google's search doodles often take to highlighting the trail blazers that have changed the world. The doodle on June 5 is no exception. 

Drawn up by Californian artist Alyssa Winans, Wednesday's doodle shows Elena Cornaro Piscopia, a female scholar from Venice, Italy who in 1678 became the first woman in the world to be awarded with a doctorate. The doodle shows Piscopia with her head in a book in a library, with Winans hoping to show how Elena was happiest "when she was able to study undisturbed." 

Today marks her 373rd birthday. Cue the "tanti auguri a te!"

Piscopia was trained in the classic languages of Latin and Greek during her childhood years and developed a love of study. She mastered seven languages in total. However, she didn't seek glory or degrees, she was just keenly interested in accumulating knowledge. It was at her father's insistence that she requested access to the Doctor of Theology course at the University of Padua.

But this was the 1670s and the Roman Catholic Church did not want to offer a woman such a title. Eventually, the church allowed Elena to apply for a Doctor of Philosophy and so she did. 

Her thesis defense -- an oral test in front of examiners and the public -- was so well attended it had to be moved to the local cathedral. She passed with flying colors and wrote her name in the history books on June 25, 1678. 

Elena passed away just six years later, after battling tuberculosis. 

The Google Doodle was not originally visible if you are using the search giant in the U.S. on June 5 but it, and it has now been added. In France, today's Google Doodle celebrates French director Jacques Demy.

Update 7:00 p.m. PT: Google made the doodle available in the U.S.