Ada Lovelace Day 2020 - Celebrating Women in STEM
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). A gifted mathematician, Ada Lovelace is considered to have written instructions for the first computer program in the mid-1800s.
Held on the second Tuesday of October each year, it aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.
The celebration is timely as this month, the Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to two women Jennifer A. Doudna, a biochemist at the University of California at Berkeley, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, a French microbiologist for their work developing a revolutionary gene-editing tool, called CRISPR -Cas9, that can change the DNA of plants and animals with extraordinary precision.
An American astrophysicist, Andrea Ghez, was also jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for work on black hole formation and the discovery of a supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy.
Sir Roger Penrose received half of this year's prize, with the other half being shared by Prof Dr Reinhard Genzel and Prof Andrea Ghez.
Prof Ghez, a professor at UCLA, is only the fourth woman to win the physics prize, out of more than 200 laureates since 1901.The other female recipients are Marie Curie (1903), Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1963) and Donna Strickland (2018). For young girls who aspire to a career in STEM this is a huge deal. Not only do they have visibility of women in STEM, but they also see successful scientists recognized by the prestigious Swedish Academy and awarded one of science’s most important accolades.
This year, Ada Lovelace Day is going back to its roots with a day of blogging, Twittering and Facebooking. #ALD20 will celebrate women, advocates and educators in STEM, profiling women working in STEM around the world and those women who work so hard campaigning for gender equality in industry, academia and the community. Finding Ada will also be running a series of free webinars throughout the day, you can register to join on their eventbrite page.
The day also includes grassroots events around the world, from conferences to Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thons’ to pub quizzes — and appeal to all ages, from girls to university students, to women with well-established careers.
To find our more about Ada Lovelace Day visit https://findingada.com or follow them on Twitter @FindingAda