A female scientist whose achievements have been underestimated by the world over the past century
Who is the scientist you admire most? In addition to Mrs. Curie , what do you know about female scientists? In the past, the scientific world was mostly dominated by men. Take the Nobel Prize in Physics as an example. During the 120 years from 1901 to 2020, there were 215 winners and only 4 female winners, which is a surprisingly few! But in fact, there are many female scientists who have made key contributions to human science and technological progress.
In the past, in the after-school study sheet or composition exercises in elementary schools, there was a common question: “Who is the scientist you admire the most?” What children write most often than the giants of science such as Newton, Darwin, Einstein, etc. , There is neither a lack of modern scientists nor women.
Even if someone mentions female scientists, most of them are limited to Mary, who has won the Nobel Prize twice. Curie (Marie Curie, 1867-1934). After the 20th century, are there no other scientists in the scientific community worth knowing about? Is it except Mary. Apart from Curie, is there no other female scientist in the scientific community who can shake up the progress of human science and technology?
In the historical torrent, the disappeared female roles and contributions
Of course this is not the case. Spreading out the history of mankind, there are not a few outstanding female scientists who have created extraordinary scientific achievements. For example, ancient Egypt had records of women devoting themselves to the field of medicine, and ancient Greece also had female mathematicians.
In the 18th century of scientific enlightenment, the French Marquise of Chatelte (Emilie du Chatelte, 1706-1749) discovered that the kinetic energy of physics is proportional to the square of its velocity, and revised the concepts of Newton, Voltaire and others; British paleontologist Mary . Mary Anning (1799-1847) once discovered the fossils of the suborder ichthyosaurs, pterosaurs, and plesiosaurs, which provided an important research basis for the theory of ” biological extinction “;
Augusta Ada Byron (1815-1952), the daughter of the famous poet Byron, was one of the earliest programmers in history. In her notes, many people recognized the first computer program in history. The algorithm used by the segment analysis machine has a pivotal and pivotal significance in the early history of computer development.
Since the twentieth century, the contributions of female scientists have become more brilliant and diverse. For example, American astronomer Henrietta found a method for calculating the distance between the earth and distant galaxies. Novitt (Henrietta Swan Leavitt, 1868-1921);
The publication of “Silent Spring” exposes the poisonous effects of pesticides on animals, plants and the environment, arouses global attention to ecology, and prompts the American marine biologist and well-known author Rachel, who bans and produces DDT, to completely ban and produce DDT. Carson (Rachel Louise Carson, 1907-1964);
One of the important developers of penicillin, and the American microbiologist Gridys, who saved countless lives in World War II. Hobby (Gladys Lounsbury Hobby);
There is also the American geologist and oceanographer Mary, who drew the world’s first scientific global seabed topography map and found the mid-Atlantic ridge. Marie Tharp (1920-2006), her research has completely changed the public’s scientific understanding of the theory of continental drift.
In addition to the above-mentioned female scientists, outstanding female scientists who have performed well in various fields have a lot to do. It is just that from ancient times to the present, compared with men, they have received relatively few resources and support, attention and recognition.
The Nobel Prize, the highest honor in the international academic circles, has historically been awarded to men 849 times, but women have only 58 times, and most of them focus on the Peace Prize,
Literary awards and other awards, most of the scientific fields are physiology and medicine, and basic science fields such as physics and chemistry are rare.
Take the Nobel Prize in Physics as an example. According to official statistics, during the 120 years from 1901 to 2020, there were a total of 215 winners, but there were only 4 female winners, which is an astonishing few! One of the most well-known winners is the well-known Mary. Curie, she and her husband Pierce in 1903. Pierre Curie (1859-1906) was also recognized by the Nobel Prize in Physics for his outstanding research on radioactive substances; in 1911 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his successful discovery and separation of radioactive elements such as radium and polonium. So far, she is the only woman who has won Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields.
Mary. Curie is the first and only woman scientist to have won two Nobel Prizes (photo taken in 1920).
Wu Jianxiong, who has passed the Nobel Prize many times
Wu Jianxiong (1912-1997), a Chinese physicist who also made outstanding contributions in the field of experimental physics and known as the “Mary Curie of the East”, was not so lucky.
Known for her exquisite, careful and accurate experimental design, she not only completed beta decay experiments, but also found out the secrets of atomic nuclei. On the other hand, because the scientific community at that time generally believed that in nature, whether it is an object visible to the eye or the tiny world hidden in an atom, it has the characteristics of left-right symmetry, which is called the “parity conservation” law until She designed a super sophisticated experiment to assist colleagues Li Zhengdao, Yang Zhenning and others to prove that “parity is actually not conserved,” and only then did she overturn this long-belief cosmological law.
Two scientists, Li Zhengdao and Yang Zhenning, also won the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics for this outstanding achievement.
However, Wu Jianxiong was not nominated for the Physics Prize this time. Later, in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1964, and 1965, Wu Jianxiong was nominated for the Physics Prize one after another, but in the end he missed the prize.
So far, many people look back on this history and believe that the double restraint of Asian and female identities is probably the key factor in Wu Jianxiong’s failure to win the Nobel Prize.
Even if the academic community is not friendly enough to her, Wu Jianxiong has won with extraordinary research strength throughout his life. Not only did he become the first scientist to win the Wolfe Prize in Physics in 1978, he is also the only female and Chinese scientist who has won the award so far.
In February 2021, the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued a new stamp to commemorate her, becoming one of the few Chinese women who can be honored on US stamps.
Although Wu Jianxiong missed the Nobel Prize many times, he still won numerous awards throughout his life. He was even awarded the National Medal of Science by the President of the United States, which is the highest scientific honor in the United States (photo taken in 1958).
Numerous female scientists who have repeatedly created surprises
In addition to the basic science field, in the hard-core programming and technology fields, there are also many female scientists who create surprises, but compared to men, their outstanding contributions are often highlighted after many years and receive relatively commensurate glory.
For example, Heidi, who has the reputation of “Mother of Bluetooth”. Lamarr (Hedy Lamarr, 1914-2000) was a super well-known Hollywood movie star, but she was also an out-and-out inventor of the slash. She invented the key technology of “frequency hopping and spreading” in the 1940s. Today, mobile phone communication, Bluetooth transmission and wireless communication can ensure the foundation of privacy. However, it was not until 1997 that the 83-year-old Heidi was awarded the “Pioneer Award” by the US “Electronic Frontier Foundation” to officially recognize her contribution.
Heidi Lama, who invented the key technology to ensure the privacy of wireless communications, was once a well-known movie star with the same fame as Vivien Leigh, the heroine of the movie “Gone with the Wind”. Picture taken from Wikipedia.
Another IT girl Grace, who will be with Jobs and Bill Gates in the future. Hope, the achievement is also extremely legendary, (Grace Murray Hopper, 1906-1992). She is a computer scientist who paid the U.S. Navy’s Huai Award and is also one of the first batch of computer program engineers in the world.
In that distant age, computer programs were written with binary numbers (0 and 1). This is a tedious task that is time-consuming and brain-intensive. Engineers not only need to memorize all the instructions, but these codes are all composed of 0 and 1, which is very intuitive and easy to make mistakes. Faced with these problems, Grace put forward the idea of developing a high-level programming language so that people can write programs in a way close to English writing. Later, she created the first modern compiler A-0 system, and the commercial computer programming language “COBOL”, known as the “mother of COBOL.”
One of Grace’s most talked about anecdotes is that she is the world’s first program queen to uncover computer “bugs”. The Mark II computer managed by her and her colleagues suddenly stopped working for some reason. Grace checked carefully and found that it was a moth flying in and causing the computer to short-circuit. She posted the remains of the moth on the research and development record book, saying that she found a “bug” that caused the computer to stop working. After that, any error that caused the computer to stop working was generally called a “bug”, and finding the error was called a “debug”.
Grace. Hope once pasted the moth that caused a computer program error in his notes. This was the first computer program error that was officially recorded. Picture taken from Wikipedia.
However, even with such outstanding contributions, Grace was forced to retire by the military at the age of 60, but the military soon found out that she had made the wrong decision-because without Grace, the military could not do anything about that bunch of programs, so she once He was once again extended his service life, and he did not officially retire until 1986, when he was 80 years old.
Read the picture book to meet Shero scientists
As of today in the 21st century, with the loosening of policies and laws in various countries, the social atmosphere has become more and more open, and women are finally facing their early days. Outstanding female scientists and talents not only continue to emerge in various professional fields, but also have the opportunity to become national leaders.
In the field of biographical literature of children’s books, Joan of Arc, Nightingale, Helen Keller, Mary. New faces other than classic characters such as Curie. Through these diverse and diversified biographical stories, children can finally realize that these “Shero” who were hidden in the historical torrent in the past, how to overcome all difficulties, persist in dreams, and create far-reaching changes in a male-dominated world .
When leading children to read this type of biographical picture book, the point is not to become a person who has made great contributions to the story’s master, but to think more in the reading-what is most interesting to them . Regardless of whether it is a boy or a girl, one should not be limited by the existing gender stereotypes. In the process of exploring science, the key to success lies not in talents, but in a series of “curiosity-exploration-hands-on attempts-overcoming failures-incessant efforts-repeated verifications” is the key to ultimate success.