women in technology

Hildegard of Bingen – More than the ‘Sybil of the Rhine’

Hildegard of Bingen – More than the ‘Sybil of the Rhine’

Although her exact birthdate is uncertain, we dedicate today’s article to an extraordinary woman in science: German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath St Hildegard of Bingen. At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, known as “Sybil of the Rhine“, produced major works of theology and visionary writings. She used the curative powers of natural objects for healing, and wrote treatises about natural history and medicinal uses of…
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Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Discovery of Pulsars

Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Discovery of Pulsars

On November 28, 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Anthony Hewish discovered the first Pulsar, a fast rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The radiation of a pulsar can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing toward the Earth, much the way a lighthouse can only be seen when the light is pointed in the direction of an observer, and is responsible for the pulsed appearance…
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Ada Lovelace – The World’s First Programmer

Ada Lovelace – The World’s First Programmer

On November 27, 1852, Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace passed away, who is considered to be the world’s very first computer programmer. Every student of computer science has most probably heart of Ada Countess of Lovelace, assistant to mathematician Charles Babbage, [1] inventor of the very first programmable (mechanical) computer, the analytical engine. Although probably not widely known to the general public, there are Ada Lovelace tuition programs for girls, a programming language called…
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Hedy Lamarr – a Hollywood Star Invents Secure Communication Technology

Hedy Lamarr – a Hollywood Star Invents Secure Communication Technology

On November 9, 1913, Hollywood movie star Hedy Lamarr was born, co-inventor of an early form of the spread spectrum communication and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day. Family Background Ok, I assume that you are not necessarily familiar with spread spectrum communications technology. But, maybe you are wondering even more about a movie star diva of Hollywood’s Golden Age, who should be responsible for the…
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Lise Meitner – The Misjudged Genius

Lise Meitner – The Misjudged Genius

On October 27, 1968, Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner passed away. She is known today for her passionate and extraordinary work on radioactivity and nuclear physics along with her colleague Otto Hahn,[1] who was honored with the Nobel Prize while Meitner stayed unrecognized. Family Background and Early Life Lise Meitner was born on November 7, 1878 in Vienna Leopoldstadt (2nd district of Vienna), Austria. She was the third daughter of the Jewish lawyer Philipp Meitner and…
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On the Road with Bertha Benz

On the Road with Bertha Benz

On August 5, 1888, Bertha Benz, without her husband, engineer and inventor Carl Benz, knowing about it, took her two sons on the first long distance car-trip ever performed. In doing so, she brought the Benz Patent-Motorwagen worldwide attention and got the newly founded car company its first sales. Bertha Benz was the daughter of the master carpenter Karl Friedrich Ringer. Before Bertha and Carl Benz got married, she invested in his…
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Mary Leakey and the Discovery of the false ‘Nutcracker Man’

Mary Leakey and the Discovery of the false ‘Nutcracker Man’

On July 17, 1959, British paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey discovered the first fossil of the Paranthropus boisei at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Mary Leakey was born as Mary Douglas Nicol , the daughter of the then well-known landscape painter Erskine Edward Nicol and the hobby painter Cecilia Marion Frere, who lived for years in France in the Dordogne. Frequent visits to prehistoric and archaeological sites in France aroused her interest in such topics even as…
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The First Woman in Space – Valentina Tereshkova

The First Woman in Space – Valentina Tereshkova

On June 16th 1963 Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman went to space with Russian space mission Vostok 6. She was selected out of more than 400 applicants to pilot Vostok 6, becoming both the first woman and the first civilian to fly in space, as she was only honorarily inducted into the USSR‘s Air Force as a condition on joining the Cosmonaut Corps. On her three-day mission in space, she performed various tests…
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Aviatrix Wilhelmine Reichard

Aviatrix Wilhelmine Reichard

On April 16, 1811, Wilhelmine Reichard launched to her first solo flight in a gas balloon, thus becoming Germany`s very first female balloonist. You might remember that in 1783 the brothers Montgolfier already launched the very first balloon, as we reported in our recent blog post ‘More than just Hot Air…‘. [3] Actually, the first passengers were a sheep, a rooster, and a duck that were given the honor to take part…
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Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

On April 2, 1647, the German naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian was born. Even though she is not very well known for her achievements, she made significant contributions to entomology through the observation and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly. The fact that Maria Sibylla Merian is not well known throughout the scientific community is probably caused by the fact that the study of nature and entomology in general…
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