Ada Lovelace: not just a pretty face
Last week I happened to pass a room in the building where I work, in which a meeting of world-class scientists was taking place. A quick glance through the glass wall revealed a disturbing gender imbalance – there were no women in the room at all.
I often read about how there aren’t enough women in science, and part of this is a generational thing. Most of the men in that room were in their 50s, and 35 years ago when they were choosing their careers it wasn’t very common for women to go into science. But nowadays we hope for better – young women should feel just as able to become scientists as their male fellow students.
So it’s great that Ada Lovelace Day is encouraging women in science to take a moment to think about the ladies who inspire them (Ada not only had a brilliant name, she was also a trailblazing 19th century female computer programmer). They say everyone remembers a good teacher, and two of the women who taught me science at school have really stuck in my mind.