Happy (Week of) Ada Lovelace Day!

lovelacesm

Credit to the wonderful Hark! A Vagrant.

As you may have noticed already, this past October 15th was Ada Lovelace Day. Women represent only a third of doctoral degrees awarded in STEM fields, and “stereotype threat” – the risk of self-fulfilling a negative stereotype about one’s group – still operates heavily. And this is a self-perpetuating cycle, because “you can’t be what you can’t see.” Ada Lovelace Day is, primarily, about highlighting the historically under-recognized achievements of women in STEM fields in the past as well as the present (Lovelace is known as the first ever computer programmer, and by way of explaining the cartoon above, also happened to be the estranged daughter of wayward Romantic poet Lord Byron).

One celebration planned for the day that got a lot of well-deserved attention was the Wikipedia edit-a-thon that happened at Brown University, where contributors established new and fleshed out existing entries on women in science on the crowd-sourced and male-skewed encyclopedia.

On a similar note, the Women’s Center and Women in Science at Harvard Radcliffe is joining together next week to hold a discussion and panel on portrayals of women in STEM in popular culture. It’s at 7 in the Adams House UCR next Thursdy 24th, and we’d love to see you there!

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