ALD News: Suw chats about women in STEM, Prof Ursula Martin to give Lovelace talk
Plus Ada Lovelace play wins prize, Hinckley Ada Lovelace statue campaign, Nature Inspiring Science Awards launch and much more!
Somewhat unusually, we have three short videos for you to watch this week! If you can’t see them directly in your email, then you can just click through to view them on the web.
It is officially sponsor recruitment season again and we have some marvellous perks on offer.
After the fabulous success of last year's hybrid event, we are now providing our sponsors a generous allotment of free livestreaming tickets, whether for on-site watch parties or staff viewing at home. And now that we're back to in-person events, we can once again provide add-ons to our sponsorship packages such as sponsoring complimentary drinks, the video livestream and recording, and event photos.
We are also offering more of Suw’s time and expertise. With 15 years of experience in this space, sponsors will be able to take advantage of her expertise via in-person/Zoom talks, webinars, gender equity content auditing, and/or consulting.
If you would like to know more about the sponsorship opportunities we’re offering, which start at £10,000 per year, just pop along to our website, fill in our short form and download our prospectus.
Ada Lovelace Day Live 2023 videos available on YouTube
The individual Ada Lovelace Day Live! 2023 videos will finally be winging their way to you by email over the next few weeks. If you can’t wait, you can watch them all on the Royal Institution’s channel. But before we get to the juicy stuff, here’s Suw’s introduction:
Suw chats to INCA about women in STEM
Last year, Ada Lovelace Day founder Suw Charman-Anderson was invited to take part in a panel discussion about Women in the Industry at the Independent Networks Co-operative Association’s annual conference. Whilst she was there, she had a chat with James Page about how she came to start Ada Lovelace Day, the lack of women at the conference and, indeed, in the telecoms industry.
She talked about the ‘mid-career marathon’ and why we lose women 10-20 years into their STEM career. And she discussed the first steps that companies can take to develop a culture that supports women, and about the need to address recruitment and promotion processes in a gender-balanced way. She also talked about tackling how we talk to young girls about STEM, how girls develop their self-identity and relationships to STEM, and the needless gender stereotyping in children’s toys and clothes.
Extraordinary women: Ada Lovelace
Prof Ursula Martin will be giving a talk about Ada Lovelace on the evening of Monday 4 March, in Bath as part of the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution’s Extraordinary Women series. Tickets for this hybrid event cost £4 – £8 and are available from their website.
Sometimes referred to as the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace has become an icon for women in technology. But how did she acquire the knowledge and expertise to become a pioneer of computer science? The answer lies in the archives of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, which reveals a talented and inquisitive child growing into a serious scientist with a remarkable knowledge of cutting edge mathematics and scientific developments.
Play about Ada Lovelace wins prize
Sarah Grochala’s play, Intelligence, has won the 2023 Women’s Prize for Playwriting. According to Anya Ryan, one of the judges, Intelligence “begins with the Victorian computing pioneer Ada Lovelace in the 1840s and then moves through a series of unexpected reincarnations, [and] is a truly original, illuminating epic”.
“I had this real sense that Ada could be propelled into the future, because I feel like she belongs there,” Grochala told Ryan. “There is something fascinating about the way people used to view women’s brains, and what they were capable of.”
Grochala hopes to see a commercial production of Intelligence, and so do we!
Ada Lovelace Statue for Hinckley
Campaigners are raising £160,000 in order to get a statue of Ada Lovelace erected in Hinckley in Leicestershire. Ada’s mother, Lady Annabella Byron fled with her then one-month-old daughter to live at Kirkby Mallory Hall near Hinckley after separating from Lord Byron, Ada’s father.
After organising an Ada Lovelace Day event in 2019, Stan Rooney is now raising money for a statue of her to be erected in Hinckley town centre. The statue will be a cast of the sculpture created by Mary and Etienne Millner to stand on Ergon House in Westminster, and there are more details about that in the video below.
Nature Inspiring Science Awards
Applications are open for the Nature Awards for Inspiring Women in Science, in partnership with Estée Lauder. The awards recognise the work of early career women in research and people or organisations that work to promote women in STEM. The deadline for applications is 8 April 2024 and you can find out more on their website.
Around the web
Ada Lovelace featured: Ada is featured in this book about artificial intelligence by Nigel Toon, which explores the history of computing and the misogyny faced by the women who worked in the field. For children this half term, the Florence Nightingale Museum is hosting a day of activities called “Super Women in STEM: Celebrating Victorian Heroes”, about Ada Lovelace, Mary Anning, Mary Somerville and Florence Nightingale.
Women of colour: Mamata Aryal of The Kathmandu Post writes about the challenges and opportunities for women scientists in Nepal. Éliane Ubalijoro writes for The Guardian that while we should celebrate the wins women have made, there are still barriers faced by women scientists of colour in their careers. Black Girl Nerds have looked at the pioneering women of colour who worked at NASA, inspiring the book and film Hidden Figures. Dirley Cortés speaks to Nature about her work in paleontology and the barriers she has faced as a Latin American woman in science.
Overlooked women: Elisabetta Citterio talks to Nature about her photography project looking at women in STEM, and how she is hoping to make the subjects of her photos better known to the public.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Physics World looks at the range of strategies used to help further the careers of girls and women in physics. The barriers faced by Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin are the subject of this piece by Geoff Thompson in Yorkshire Bylines. And in North East Bylines, women scientists from the North East talk about the women who inspired them. Over in the US, the U.S. Geological Survey is highlighting a variety of animals, and the women scientists who study them. The European Space Agency has an article about women working in space (and if you visit the ESA Instagram page, there are a series of behind the scenes videos). The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund provides a number of opportunities to help young women in their science careers, and has written a piece about some of the women they’ve aided. Finally, women scientists at CERN have talked about their favourite science memories.
Videos and podcasts: Opening Minds Opening Doors hears from three women in STEM about their role models, finding STEM careers and staying confident. Imperial College London has launched a new video series about Latin American women scientists working at the institution. Dame Athene Donald gave a talk at The Royal Institution last November on the need for more women in science, which is now up on YouTube. The latest episode of the Lost Women of Science podcast is about Sallie Pero Mead, a “computer” turned engineer, who made pivotal discoveries about electromagnetic waves.
Books: Professor Merilee Grindle has written In the Shadow of Quetzalcoatl about archaeologist and anthropologist Zelia Nuttall, and her work exploring ancient civilisations in Mexico. Katy Guest reviews Blood: The Science, Medicine and Mythology of Menstruation by Dr Jen Gunter, for The Guardian.
That’s it for this month! Don’t forget to check your inbox later in the week for the first of the Ada Lovelace Day Live 2023 videos. And if you’re interested in finding out more about our sponsorship packages, please download our prospectus!
All the best,
Suw & the ALD Team