Ada Lovelace Day – 15th October
Who is Ada Lovelace?
Born in 1815, Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the well-known poet Lord Byron. She studied mathematics at the University of London with Charles Babbage, whose analytical engines were the precursors of the modern computer. Ada is known as a mathematician and computer pioneer, she created the concept of an operating system. She also gave her name to the Ada Programming Language.
STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
Ada Lovelace Day is not just about Ada, it is also for raising the profile and achievements of women in STEM, past and present. I just read in the Guardian an article by Suw Charman-Anderson which gives information on Ada Lovelace Day Live! and much more –
Our flagship event, Ada Lovelace Day Live! – a nerd cabaret featuring talks, science demonstrations, comedy and song – is a cross-discipline celebration of women in STEM, and will be held at Imperial College London from 6pm, 15 October. Performers include science communicator and demo designer Fran Scott, bioengineer Professor Molly Stevens, Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister with responsibility for cybersecurity, and technologist and comedy writer Leila Johnston, amongst others.
There will also be 40 independently organised grassroots events across Europe, North and South America, including several Wikipedia edit-a-thons that aim to increase the number of articles in the online encyclopaedia about women in STEM. There are also many other events, including talks, pub meet-ups, conferences and exhibitions covering the work of a plethora of women, from paleontologists to musicians to artists and sewing machine pioneers.
Why am I troubled by Ada Lovelace Day?
I am not having a go at Ada Lovelace Day. I am troubled by our society which somehow stops women performing in what’ s often seen as ‘a man’s world’. We have all heard of:
- women being heckled as speakers at conferences not because of the content of their talk but because they are women.
- women being kept in lower positions in a company or paid less.
- women threatened with rape and murder on Twitter
What is wrong with our society that we need special women’s day, special women association such as the PHP Women. By doing so, are we playing in the hands of our male counterparts?