International Ada Lovelace Day – honoring women’s contributions to math, science, and technology

 

Happy Ada Lovelace Day! We as an online magazine are joining in with the international effort to acknowledge women’s contributions to math, science, and technology fields every March 24th. This is my personal blogpost as editor-in-chief – please comment with mentions of women you admire, and/or write your own blogposts.

For more information, and to sign up to read others’ blogposts, please visit http://findingada.com

I dedicate this post to Dr. Marilyn Winkelby, Stanford epidemiologist seeking to look at the big picture in terms of how diseases and chronic health conditions differently affect various socioeconomic and cultural groups. She’s looking at the biology and medical science, but also looking at what the lab findings mean for actual people.

Also, Dr. Winkelby launched an initiative to interest and help empower and educate more young people about going into health science careers and studying biology and chemistry while in high school. She’s working to ensure the future of these fields while advancing them herself.

Here’s a link to the Winkelby Lab through Stanford’s website: http://winkleby.stanford.edu/

I would also like to mention Kenya’s Dr. Wangari Maathai, botanist, ecologist, and author as well as the mother of Kenya’s Greenbelt movement, which works to plant trees for erosion control in rural farm areas. She’s brought about concrete results all over Kenya and other parts of the world, in ways backed up with scientific evidence, and in ways which immediately, directly benefit ordinary people growing food for their families as well as address the long-term concerns for the natural environment.

Dr. Maathai’s book, Unbowed, is an inspiration and I would recommend it to anyone reading this. Here’s the website for her Greenbelt movement: http://www.wangarimaathai.com/

Also, Dr. Dawn Sumner of my own alma mater, UC Davis, is a geologist looking at the Martian soil for evidence of past and present water and possible life. I had the privilege of interviewing her for a feature story I put together on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers and she was very articulate and well-informed. She also came to speak at a public lecture put on by the Explorit Science Center, helping to educate others about geological research.

Dr. Sumner just finished a research expedition to Antarctica to observe conditions in dry lakebeds and the bacteria which thrive in those environments, in hopes that the project will shed light on possible geologic conditions in which life may exist in similar environments on other planets or in our Earth’s early days.

She blogged throughout her experience, detailing not just her research but the daily living conditions and procedures involved in maintaining camp in such a harsh and unique environment. She’s very personable and an engaging writer…you may read her posts here: http://dawninantarctica.blogspot.com/

Also, I acknowledge the female researchers, staff and volunteers at our own Chabot Space and Science Center!

Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Wishing everyone the best as we celebrate and honor the progress being made in many fields.

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