Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Einstein Who?

So, I'm taking an astronomy class this term and was just doing some reading for tomorrow when I discovered this:
"Our current system of stellar classification began at Harvard College Observatory." The observatory director had numerous assistants, whom he called "computers." Most of these "computers" were women....No one at the time knew why spectra followed the sequence. The correct answer - that all stars are made primarily of hydrogen and helium - was discovered by Cecilia Payne-Gaposchken...She published her discoveries in her doctoral thesis, which was later called "the most brilliant PhD thesis ever written."
Fucking Rad.

3 comments:

Jen said...

After a long stream of reading feminist blogs about negative things, I really like to see something positive. Thanks!

Lindsay said...

Ditto. Keep posting about the awesome women you come across.

La Pobre Habladora said...

Hear, hear! I hope you guys will post tons more on forgotten (or over-looked) female geniuses. Reading about these women and their contributions will give us more heroes, and probably a bit more confidence too.