Tuesday, January 31

Dedication to Discovery: Extraordinary Women and Their Legacy in the History of Technology and Science

Throughout history we have seen how many women were relegated to the background. However, and very little by little, the woman is finally beginning to receive the recognition she deserves.

The list of female representatives who have achieved fame and renown thanks to their own effort, dedication and genius in the STEM world (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), has grown over time.

In the following article we show you a list with eight women who managed to overcome prejudice and impediments to which the female gender has been subjected and used their skills to make life easier for us.

In fact, surely there is more than one that you didn’t even know that was one of the “culprits” that you can use your home Wi-Fi, for example.

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Gertrude B. Elion (1918-1999). She invented the drug against leukemia

According to the United States Inventors Hall of Fame, Gertrude B. Elion he invented the drug against leukemia and the drugs that facilitate kidney transplants.

The pharmacologist also led the team that led to the development of medicines to treat gout and an antiviral to combat infections caused by the herpes virus.

In 1988, the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine it was awarded to Elion, James W. Black, and George H. Hitchings for their discoveries of key principles in drug therapy.

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852). She created the first programming language

Ada Lovelace was daughter of the romantic poet Lord Byron and Anna Isabella-Byron. Her mathematical talent shone through and her skills and interest in machines led her to work with Charles Babbage (inventor of the Analytical Engine).

As a result of her work on the project, Ada Lovelace is often referred to as the world’s first computer programmer. It was Lovelace’s notes on the analytical engine that Alan Turing used as inspiration for his work. on the first modern computer, in the 1940s.

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It should be noted that her works had to be signed with the initials AAL for fear of being censored for being a woman.

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In 2009, Ada Lovelace Day was created. (second Tuesday in October) to celebrate the achievements of women in STEM subjects.

Angela Ruiz Robles (1895-1975). Precursor of the e-book

The only Spanish representative on our list is Ángela Ruiz Robles, a teacher by profession and an inventor as a hobby, who was the forerunner, in 1954, of something that she could not even imagine what it was going to become: the electronic book or e-book.

The book had buttons, coils and lights that helped to make learning more comfortable for the student.

To achieve this, he had an electrical circuit that Ángela Ruiz designed. In 1962 he patented his Mechanics Encyclopedia (this is how it was called in its beginnings), considered in some way a precedent of the first electronic book.

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Top Secret Roses. They programmed the world’s first digital computer (ENIAC)

The Top Secret Rosies were six women who worked as programmersalthough when they appeared photographed in images they were passed off as models.

However, they all have names: Betty Snyder; Jean Jennings; Marlyn Wescoff; Ruth Lichtman; Kathleen McNultyc and Frances Bilas.

We are faced with six women who They managed to program the world’s first digital computer: the ENIAC. Although it is true that those in charge of building it were John Presper and John William, these six women were all experts in mathematics and logic and were in charge of controlling it.

With this computer, calculations could be made on many basic operations and it played a fundamental role in the development of programming.

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Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000). Forerunner of WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth

She has always been known as the first actress to appear nude in a Hollywood movie. However, Hedy was much more than that… and so much.

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We are dealing with a self-taught inventor, who was granted a patent in 1942 for her secret communication system, designed with the help of George Antheil, a method that prevented the tracking of torpedoes sent against the Nazi German navy during the war.

This frequency hopping system was intended to throw radio-guided torpedoes off course during the war, but the idea ended up inspiring WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth technology, which are commonly used today.

Stephanie Kwolek (1923-2004). she invented kevlar

Every time a policeman or any military man touches his chest after being shot and realizes that the bulletproof vest has saved him, he owes something very important to a woman named Stephanie Kwolek, a chemist who invented polyparaphenylene terephthalamide

Simplifying, this woman created a high-strength fiber known as Kevlar, very light, but up to five times stronger than steel.

With this outstanding achievement he become the first woman to receive the Lavoisier Medal.

“I didn’t shout Eureka but I was very excited, as was the whole lab, and the management was also excited because we were looking at something new and different”tells herself after creating the compound.

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Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913). She invented the dishwasher

We talk about inequality of opportunities for women, as well as their role in the domestic sphere, to which they were relegated. Among all the domestic tasks that they performed daily, we highlight that of washing the dishes.

Bearing this in mind, it is more than evident that it was going to be a woman who invented the well-known and popular dishwasher. That woman was Josephine Cochrane, in 1886.

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His intention was to bring the dishwasher into homes in order to free women from the slavery of the sink. And despite the fact that there were previous attempts, it was she who got a pressure washing system and save our lives.

Radio Joy Perlman (1951-). She invented the STP

Nicknamed The Mother of the Internet, Radia’s invention of the algorithm on which the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is based was instrumental in making possible the Internet we know today.

Before the web, which connects different networks, existed, devices could only be interconnected on a local area network. There was no protocol that would allow an ethernet to communicate with another without the connection collapsing due to excess data. With the STP everything changes.

Made it possible for networks to manage themselves, that you only had to connect them and they knew what had to happen and how to move the information. In addition, he established the basic rules of Internet traffic (IEEE).

We are also talking about a system pioneer of cloud technology, as it allows large amounts of information to be stored on a network. Radia has spoken around the world and remains a computer programmer and engineer for Dell EMC.

As you have seen throughout this article, all of them and many others that are not included here (because the list is so large that sometimes you have to choose), They have consistently improved our lives and surely you don’t even know their names.

WiFi, dishwasher, Internet or drugs for complex diseases… let’s stop and think how it would have affected our life if these great figures they would not have broken all the schemes of the society of their time and these advances would have remained only as a project within their brilliant minds.

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