Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Women scientists

In a radio debate this Saturday, kids innocently said, "Boys are more intelligent than girls, because all great scientists are men."

How incomplete is this info ! For that time, all I could do was wage my finger and declare to my husband that most of the useful inventions were by women and how men stole idea from their women subordinates (ex. DNA double helix). "Wait, wait, I will dig out all info and blog asap".

Everyone knows about Rosalind Franklin. No ? Well now you know. She was the British biophysicist who took the actual x-ray photograph of DNA double helix, in course of her research of nuleic acid. Wilkins, Watson and Crick basically stole that and other info, and published it in their name. And for which they were later awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. The structure of DNA was a basis on which many major discoveries to come were based and basically opened wide the doors to genetic. More here.

Well, here is my list of inventions by women and important lady scientists. This is an important records and I wish it could seep into popular mindset.

Ada Lovelace: Wrote a scientific paper in 1843 that anticipated the development of computer software artificial intelligence and computer music.
Grace Murray Hopper: the Mother of COBOL and one of the most important women in the history of computers.
Marie Curie: also known as Madame Curie discovered radium and furthered x-ray technology.
Mary Anderson: was issued a patent for the windshield wipers in 1905.
Automatic dishwasher was invented by woman named Josephine Garis Cochrane in 1893.

No doubt women have been inventing since the dawn of time without the deserved recognition. These are only a few. There are so many more.


AfricaBleu said...

And don't forget CHILDBEARING... how many men can do THAT one?

SonSon said...

Women have always had to be clever to live in a world determined to suppress them. I love hearing the specific things they did though.

Prithi Shetty said...

So true, Becky, SonSon.

Women & mothers definitely invented "MultiTasking" ! And now they give us courses in that. Ha :)

Yes, we put in extra effort in everything, to be noticed, to be accepted and more importantly, to avoid discredit. It can be a big load sometimes. But then, its ok - we become better and better !

Shivaji said...

Recently there was a lot of commotion in the US when Harvard University President Lawrence Summers suggested that the real reason behind the drastic underrepresentation of women in Science and Engineering was because men may be genetically more attuned for maths and science than women as suggested by some research. Genetic differences are increasingly being cited as possible behaviour traits and development. Boys, for instance, are four times more likely to be autistic than girls. Women invariable have longer average life span than men. All the same, many feminists went up in arm against Mr. Summers. The politically correct media often blows such things out of proportion. What I am trying to say is that its important for us to ignore such trivial matters, leave such things to experts and move on with life. One needs to be concerned only when women/men are discriminated against on a motivated basis.

Prithi Shetty said...

i so agree with you. "motivated basis" and ignorance are two things to watc out for. and repair.

Thomas said...

It's really only been the last few generations that women have had equal access to education. It will probably be a few generations more before we see equal numbers in the technology fields.

Roba said...

thats a great post.. i'm a feminist and stuff! go women!

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