International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021
Published on 11th February 2021
You probably know that Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize but did you know she was the only person to win two. In 1903 she and her husband were awarded one half of the Nobel Prize for Physics for their study into the spontaneous radiation, along with Becquerel who won the other half.
Then in 1911 she received a noble prize in Chemistry for her work in radioactivity. When we think of science, it tends to be physics, chemistry and biology, but as a study it includes, earth science, geology, meteorology, statistics, computer science, logic, botany and zoology among others.
Although many women have contributed to the various disciplines over the years they have never been given the status of their male colleagues. Walter and Crick have been credited with the discovery of the double helix in DNA, with their paper in 1953, but did you know x-ray photographs taken by Roslind Franklin captured the helical form two years previous in 1951.
Another fact that has been hidden for years is that in the early 1960s, thirteen women were training to become astronauts. Even though many did better in some of the tests than their male counterparts the then President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, put a stop to it. A book called, Almost Astronauts, tells the story and is now a movie on Netflix, Mercury 13.
Data from UNESCO (2014-2016) shows only about thirty percent of female students select science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM related choices for further study.
“To rise to the challenges of the 21st century, we need to harness our full potential. That requires dismantling gender stereotypes. On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let’s pledge to end the gender imbalance in science”. UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Discover more about women and girls in science.
Submitted by Linda in Ballymun library.