Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs taught and researched the history of science, specializing in early modern science and the history of alchemy and chemistry. She earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Hendrix College in Arkansas, a master's degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas, and a doctoral degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1991, she joined the faculty of the history department of the University of California, Davis, after having been a history professor at Northwestern University for more than 15 years. Her books included The Foundations of Newton's Alchemy, or the Hunting of the Green Lyon (1983); Alchemical Death and Resurrection; and The Janus Faces of Genius: The Role of Alchemy in Newton's Thought. In 1997, she was posthumously awarded the George Sarton Medal of the History of Science Society.