First female circumnavigator finally honored

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In 1766, Frenchwoman Jeanne Baret disguised herself as a man to work as assistant to renowned botanist Philibert Commerson on the first French circumnavigation of the globe.

The expedition consisted of two ships under the command of Louis Antoine de Bougainville and was expected to take three years. A royal ordinance forbade women from being on French naval vessels; prejudice and custom prevented their participation in science. Nevertheless, Baret maintained her disguise all the time she was on board ship, and collected plants with Commerson in location around the world.

Click here for the full report on an appropriate commemoration for a botanist.