It’s Black History Month!

It’s Black History Month!

Time to celebrate the amazing women who’ve achieved in their field. But first a quick look at NASA celebrating the “Hidden Women” .  The Afro-American women who worked as Mathematicians for NASA. You can read about just 15 here.

Kathleen Johnson

She also verified the calculations made by an electronic computer for John Glenn’s orbit – at Glenn’s request – and for Apollo 11’s trajectory to the moon.

In fact, so great was the trust in her that when electronic computers began to emerge, the physicists and astronauts frequently would ask Johnson to double-check the computer’s figures — just to be sure.



“I want to retire to Mars”

 “I want to retire to Mars”

 New Presenter of Sky at Night on BBC 

Professor Maggie Aderin Pocock

Who do you think you are?

I define myself as a Scientist, first and foremost.   Also as a Communicator, but that came much later.   As a Scientist I have a brilliant job, I travel the world. Science can change peoples’ lives – we can save peoples’ lives! That’s one of my lifelong aspirations; to communicate my passion to others.

The Science Communicator

The Science Communicator

 I like going into Inner City schools.  I live for that.

The child who did not speak

The best thing that happened to me was at a mixed ability school which included some deaf children, one of whom was a voluntary mute.   In the middle of my talk he suddenly started asking his teacher questions, “What happens if two universes collide?”   To think the universe can inspire so much!

My two role models  are a bit odd! Continue reading

The Royal Society Science Prize

The Royal Society Science Prize


Cordelia Fine wins the Royal Society Science Prize

Winner of the Royal Society Science Prize 2017   Courtesy of RS.

“Suppose a researcher were to ask you

what are males and females like?

Would you stare at the researcher blankly and exclaim, “But what can you mean? Every person is a unique, multifaceted, sometimes even contradictory individual, and with such an astonishing range of personality within each sex, and across contests, social class, age, experience, educational level, sexuality and ethnicity, it would be pointless and meaningless to attempt to pigeonhole such rich complexity and variability into two crude stereotypes?”
Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine

Cordelia Fine’s previous book, The Gender Delusion told it like it is, but her latest Testosterone Rex, has won the prestigious Royal Society Science Prize a great achievement and victory for woman sense.  Photograph courtesy of the Royal Society.

Women are in the news quite literally this week, as Women in Journalism (WIJ) gathered at LSE with a token male editor, who more than held his own. They were there to discuss the representation of women in media, especially newspapers. Women as writers of articles but also as the subject or articles, other than celebrities and royals. with news appearing in online newspapers and also social media, it was a wide ranging discussion. Continue reading

Professor Dame Athene Donald

Professor Dame Athene Donald
Champion of Women’s Equality

If I had one action to change the world,  I would worry about equality.   
I think we ignore it at our peril.   That’s not just gender,  its ethnic,  it’s  socio-economic.

The Women's Equality Champion from 2010 to 2014

The Women’s Equality Champion from 2010 to 2014

Professor Dame Athene Donald is a scientist working at

The Cavendish.  Amongst many other roles she is  Master of Churchill College at Cambridge, where she was Cambridge’s Gender Equality Champion from 2010-2014.   She also chaired the Education Committee for The Royal Society.

I don’t’ consider myself to be a feminist    I associate the word with the sort of 60s culture, man hating.    I believe in Equality absolutely, but I don’t like the word Feminist.   I know that the modern use is different, but I still feel uncomfortable with it.
Anne Marie Slaughter speaks of strong women, who did stay in the house, but they did have dreams and wanted their daughters and grand daughters to go on to great things, but if you have  a mother who is says don’t do that, you’ll break your nails, it’s hardly encouraging or supportive.

It just appalls me the messages, Maths isn’t for girls, or  T-shirts saying I’m too pretty to do maths .

Continue reading

Professor Susan Greenfield Neuroscientist

Professor Susan Greenfield  Research Neuroscientist

Woman of Science

“A woman takes on a job to get something done,

a man takes on a job to be someone.” 

Mike Rann Premier of South Australia


I was in for a science  prize in the states. When I  came second, a male colleague rang.  He  said, well you are foreign and you are a woman.  It was said in all kindness, that will explain everything.  A foreigner and a woman. Continue reading


3 Women-in-Science


One of the most egregious omissions at the Nobel prize was the award to Watson and Crick, overlooking Rosa Franklin, as not entitled because she was dead.  Also deemed ineligible was a female student who discovered Pulsars, her professors were awarded the Nobel. Continue reading

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell Astrophysicist

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Astrophysicist and President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

She discovered the first radio pulsars,as a postgraduate student. Her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Martin Ryle, because Jocelyn was considered as ineligible as a student.

I was the only female in a class of 50 students in college which was difficult. There was a

Jocelyn Bell Burnell Astrophysicist

Astrophysicist and President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

tradition among the students that when a female walked into a lecture theatre all the guys stamped and whistled and called and banged the desk. ” I faced that for every class I walked into for my last two years.”

My best moment, would be the discovery of Pulsars. (aka (little green men)      Another being when the decision was taken about Pluto not being a planet.   I got called in to facilitate the meetings about that, because I could handle a large audience, a large crowd.   I’m proud how I turned around a tricky situation there. Continue reading