The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

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The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby wildlx » 12 Feb 2015, 11:50

One more woman scientist who has been erased: Cecilia H. Payne

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in 1925 she became the first person to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College (now part of Harvard). Her thesis was "Stellar Atmospheres, A Contribution to the Observational Study of High Temperature in the Reversing Layers of Stars".[3] Astronomers Otto Struve and Velta Zebergs called it "undoubtedly the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy".[1]

Payne was able to accurately relate the spectral classes of stars to their actual temperatures by applying the ionization theory developed by Indian physicist Meghnad Saha. She showed that the great variation in stellar absorption lines was due to differing amounts of ionization at different temperatures, not to different amounts of elements. She found that silicon, carbon, and other common metals seen in the Sun's spectrum were present in about the same relative amounts as on Earth, in agreement with the accepted belief of the time, which held that the stars had approximately the same elemental composition as the Earth. However, she found that helium and particularly hydrogen were vastly more abundant (for hydrogen, by a factor of about one million). Thus, her thesis established that hydrogen was the overwhelming constituent of the stars (see Metallicity), and accordingly was the most abundant element in the Universe.

When Payne's dissertation was reviewed, astronomer Henry Norris Russell dissuaded her from presenting her conclusion that the composition of the Sun was predominantly hydrogen and thus very different from that of the Earth, as it contradicted the accepted wisdom at the time. However, he changed his mind four years later after having derived the same result by different means and publishing it. Although he acknowledged her work briefly in his paper, Russell was still often given credit for the discovery even after Payne had been proved correct.[4] [5]

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecilia_Payne-Gaposchkin
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Re: The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby wildlx » 13 Feb 2015, 12:11

Well done, Baker starting the thread :). Had you heard about Payne?
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Re: The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby Baker » 14 Feb 2015, 06:30

No, I had not heard of her. She sounds stupendously smart and, gee, what a surprise that a man took credit for her work. It's becoming clearer why we don't have an accurate history of what women contributed to human advances, isn't it?
How did you come across her?
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Re: The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby Proofrdr » 14 Feb 2015, 08:27

Sadly, it's a repetitive story that such brilliance was neither nurtured nor acknowledged.
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Re: The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby wildlx » 14 Feb 2015, 11:10

Through a retweet with this picture:

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Re: The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby wildlx » 03 Mar 2015, 07:07

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Dr. Nettie Stevens was an American geneticist who was the first person to describe the XY sex determination system in animals happens due to chromosomes, not some other factor like the environment. Nettie was born on July 7, 1861 in Vermont. She had an unusual childhood in the fact that she attended school until she graduated at 19, at which time she became a teacher. Eventually, after attending a teaching school, Nettie would enroll at Bryn Mawr College at the age of 39 to get her Ph.D. in cytology (the study of chromosomes). She is also one of the worst victims of the Matilda Effect.
After getting her Ph.D. in 1903, Nettie began studying sex determination in mealworms. In 1905, Nettie noticed that male mealworms would produce sperm with either an X chromosome or Y chromosome, but female mealworms would only produce eggs containing X chromosomes. However, her theory was not widely accepted in the scientific community, partially due to the fact that the chromosomal theory of inheritance was not accepted in the scientific community. However, Nettie’s gender almost certainly played a role as well. Sadly, Nettie died in 1912 at the age of 50 from breast cancer.
At a slightly later date then Nettie Stevens, a researcher named Edmund Beecher Wilson independently discovered the same thing as Nettie Stevens (that sex determination had to do with chromosomes). However, unlike Nettie, he only looked at male gametes as he found female eggs too fatty and hard to work with. He later edited his original paper to include a thank you to Nettie Stevens for her findings in female gametes. Although Wilson acknowledged her contributions, it is usually either Wilson or Thomas Hunt Morgan that get credited with the discovery of the XY sex-determination system.

[...]
Following Nettie’s death, Morgan wrote an obituary on her for the famous and reputable science journal Nature. In it, he dismissed her importance and wrote that she didn’t have a broad view of science. This was a disgusting oversight and purposeful snub of Nettie Stevens. It is largely because of him (other factors such as misogyny in science also play a role) that Stevens does not get the recognition or credit she deserves for her crucial discovery.

http://thematildaeffect.tumblr.com/post ... -dr-nettie
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Re: The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby Baker » 03 Mar 2015, 07:09

Thanks for that. I'd not heard of her.

Gee, what a surprise that another woman's contribution to human knowledge has been dismissed.
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Re: The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby Baker » 11 Mar 2015, 06:22

Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass ‘Go’

You know how men invented everything, even board games? Well....

For generations, the story of Monopoly’s Depression-era origins delighted fans almost as much as the board game itself.

The tale, repeated for decades and often tucked into the game’s box along with the Community Chest and Chance cards, was that an unemployed man named Charles Darrow dreamed up Monopoly in the 1930s. He sold it and became a millionaire, his inventiveness saving him — and Parker Brothers, the beloved New England board game maker — from the brink of destruction.

This month, fans of the game learned that Hasbro, which has owned the brand since 1991, would tuck real money into a handful of Monopoly sets as part of the game’s 80th “anniversary” celebration.

The trouble is, that origin story isn’t exactly true.

It turns out that Monopoly’s origins begin not with Darrow 80 years ago, but decades before with a bold, progressive woman named Elizabeth Magie, who until recently has largely been lost to history, and in some cases deliberately written out of it.


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Re: The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby wildlx » 13 Mar 2015, 01:24

I had never heard of her, nor of the man who supposedly invented the game ...
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Re: The Rosalind Franklin Memorial Thread

Postby wildlx » 16 Mar 2015, 23:24

Kudos to Google for today's Google doodle drawing attention to another woman I had never heard of: Anna Atkins

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Atkins

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