Russian journalist, writer, and public figure.
Prominent in intellectual circles of eighteenth-century Europe. Participated in the 1762 coup that brought Catherine II to the throne. Quarreled with the empress and lived abroad for several years.
Attended meetings of the “Blue Stockings” in London. Met and corresponded with Diderot and Voltaire. Director of the Imperial Academy of Sciences and president of the Russian Academy (1783).
At Franklin’s proposal, she became the first woman and second Russian to be elected to the American Philosophical Society (1789).