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Women in Science Links

Posted by Arjendu on March 11, 2016

On my facebook page, I’m going through an exercise (for no real reason, just because I felt like it) of linking every day to female scientists/thinkers/tinkerers that I think people might find interesting. There’s no reason why I can’t inflict that project on blog readers as well, so here goes. I’ll start with a single post summarizing links to date. Enjoy.

Rachel Carson, one of my daughter’s (s)heroes.

Shirley Jackson: American physicist (Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT) and currently president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (not without controversy, the stories associated with the latter).

Someone whose invention is a regular and constant feature of my life, and is responsible for a great deal of math and physics around the world (‘a mathematician (physicist) is a device for turning caffeine into theorems (results)’ ): Melitta Benz Melitta Benz and

Profiles of 18 women working on sustainable energy issues in MN…/women-in-energy?

Émilie du Châtelet: Among her many contributions: The principle of conservation of energy. (including Valentina Tereshkova, of course). And I’d like in particular to recall Kalpana Chawla and Laurel B Clark, who were on the ill-fated space shuttle Columbia. It was a Saturday and I was home, holding my month-old daughter in the usual new parent zone of exhaustion and exhilaration, when I heard the news. Of course I was utterly overwhelmed with feelings.

Hedy Lamarr: Actress, inventor of a frequency-hopping spread-spectrum technology that underlies today’s CDMA/Wi-Fi/bluetooth, …

Madam Wu: who did the very first experiment showing parity violation.
According to Clauser and Shimony, Rep. Prog. Phys., Vol. 41, 1978 she also did a very early — 1950 — experiment which “confirm[ed] the existence of states of two-particle systems which are ‘non-separable’, even though the particles are spatially remote from each other”. That is, a Bell Test, pre-Bell. (I heard about this test a few weeks ago at ‪#‎SQuInT2016‬)

Hypatia To quote my friend Howard Wiseman: “In this month of March, in this season of Lent, 1600(*) years ago, Hypatia of Alexandria, the last great philosopher-mathematician of the ancient world, the highest intellect of her age, was dragged before the church of Caesarion, stripped naked, and brutally murdered by an angry mob. The Patriarch of Alexandria, Cyril, who had whipped up the mob (with the primary aim of dispossessing and expelling the Jews from the city) was later made, and still remains, a Saint of the Catholic church. Spare a minute to weep in her memory.” And for all we say that the pen is mightier than the sword, remember the power of demagoguery. There’s a movie about her called ‘Agora’ that you might want to watch.


2 Responses to “Women in Science Links”

  1. Leah said

    This is a great exercise. Semi-related, have you seen this article? It’s about a girl who writes a new Wikipedia entry about a female scientist every time she’s harassed. She’s been very prolific, which is… Good and bad.

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