Ada Lovelace Day 2013: Which female scientists inspire us?

Ada Lovelace, 19th century British mathematici...

Ada Lovelace, 19th century British mathematician (1836). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is Ada Lovelace Day* <http://findingada.com/> which aims to raise the profile of women working in STEM
subjects across the globe.

I emailed my list of women scientists whom I have admired, or from whom I have drawn inspiration to my work colleagues, and now I’m posting it here. Each of them are admired for different qualities or acheivements, and by no means do I admire 100% of any of many of them. Also, I do draw inspriation from male scientists and engineers and from non-scientists, but I list the women here in honour of Ada Lovelace Day. I have added in purple suggestions sent by my colleagues in response to my original email. Thank you!

The fore-runners
Laura Bassi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Bassi
Rosalind Franklin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalind_Franklin
Marie Curie http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/curie_marie.shtml
Dorothy Hodgkin http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1964/hodgkin-bio.html (recommend excellent biography by Georgina Ferry)
Lise Meitner http://www.atomicarchive.com/Bios/Meitner.shtml
Rosalind Yalow http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1977/yalow-bio.html
Mary Anning (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/science-of-natural-history/biographies/mary-anning/)
Beatrice Tinsley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_Tinsley
Caroline Herschel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Herschel )
Elisabeth Mann-Borgese http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_Mann-Borgese
Marie Tharp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Tharp)
Emmy Noether http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmy_Noether

Todays women
Athene Donald   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athene_Donald  her blog is great
Uta Frith http://www.ucl.ac.uk/histmed/audio/neuroscience/frith
Jocelyn Bell Burnell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jocelyn_Bell_Burnell
Georgina Mace http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgina_Mace
Ann Druyan  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Druyan

And in my/our fields:
Joanne Malkus Simpson http://blog.ametsoc.org/uncategorized/nothing-will-stop-her-from-being-a-meteorologist/
Jerri Nielsen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerri_Nielsen
Julia Slingo http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/our-scientists/senior-scientists/julia-slingo
Lesley Gray http://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/contacts/people/grayl
Susan Solomon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Solomon
Jo Haigh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Haigh
Gabi Hegerl http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/geosciences/people?cw_xml=person.html&indv=1613
Ulrike Lohmann http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/ulohmann
Dorothy  M Koch (not the one you find on wikipedia)
Liane Benning http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/people/l.benning
Dian Seidel http://www.met.sjsu.edu/seidel.html
Karin Labitzke http://www.egu.eu/awards-medals/vilhelm-bjerknes/2011/karin-labitzke/
Helen Byrne http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/node/16484
Sarah Waters http://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/waters/Waters/Dr_Sarah_Waters.html
Kathryn Gillow http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/people/profiles/kathryn.gillow
Diane Maclagan. http://homepages.warwick.ac.uk/staff/D.Maclagan/

To contribute to the Guardian’s celebration of women in science, see http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2013/oct/08/ada-lovelace-day-share-your-stories-of-women-in-science-and-technology

Also, several people pointed out that Wikipedia entries for female scientists are generally a lot less extensive than those for men. Projects to remedy this such as that at
Brown University http://jezebel.com/lady-scientists-organize-mass-wikipedia-edit-to-honor-a-1443894109
and
https://trowelblazerswiswiki.eventbrite.com/?utm_content=buffer9cffd&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

try to redress the balance.

Finally, there are also voices  questioning whether historical figures should be used in this way, e.g. http://www.theguardian.com/science/the-h-word/2013/oct/15/women-science-history-ada-lovelace-day#comment-27951379

*Ada Lovelace was a leading 19th century mathematician, daughter of the poet Lord
Byron and described herself as a “poetical scientist”. She is often described as the first computer programmer, although this is a matter of debate. She has left a lasting legacy as a role model for women around the world working in
science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). And  in 2012 she was
honoured by a Google doodle
<http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/dec/10/ada-lovelace-honoured-google-doodle>

One thought on “Ada Lovelace Day 2013: Which female scientists inspire us?

  1. Pingback: Ada Lovelace Day 2015 | elliehighwood

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