This is a tribute to all the women out there who have made their contribution to science, some of this in the limelight, some not so much. What binds them all is the difference they have made on people’s lives through the cool field of science.
Mary Winston Johnson
The first black female engineer within NASA. She did work throughout her 30+ years career contributing numerous research to the American space program. Towards the end of her career with NASA, she worked in influencing and assisting the career paths of minority background scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
She was immortalised in the book “Hidden Figures” and corresponding movie. Highlighting her and 2 female colleagues’ contribution to the space race.
Trained and certified in forensic anthropology, Kathy has lent her skills in various disaster situations to help identify and get information about victims of tragedies, such as genocides. These are often used in a legal settings that contribute to justice and history.
She went onto write a series of best seller fiction books, which were turned into the TV series “Bones”. This catapulted the field of forensic anthropology into the popular conscience.
Daughter of Lord Byron, the poet, Ada was one of the first to recognise the potential of “calculating” machines that we come to know today as computer. She looked beyond the calculator like function of early computers. She predicted that, rather than just analysing music, the machine will be able to compose music of its own accord. She wrote what is recognised as the first algorithm to be used on one of these machines. Though she never got to see it tested, her notes influenced people to look beyond the dogmatic execution of instructions.
Today her thoughts are still relevant with the onset of artificial intelligence in everyday applications.
These are just tip of the iceberg when it comes to varied ways women have contributed to science, and hence our everyday lives. A lot more make their contribution day to day without any accolades or limelight.
Do you know of any, famous or not? Write below, so we can celebrate them!