FEPS Ada Lovelace day celebration (by Lynda Brown)

Members of the new faculty turned out to on Ada Lovelace Day (9th October) to hear the inspirational stories of the women who shaped how we see the universe from molecular structures to dark matter.

Gill Reid (Head of Chemistry) opened the proceedings for about 30 people in attendance and set the scene for the following fantastic talks; Claire Murray (Diamond Light Source) told the stories of crystallographers like Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, the only British woman to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Age Chapman (ECS) described the impact of women in computing from Ada Lovelace herself, the first computer programmer, to current figures such as our own Wendy Hall. Finally, Charlotte Angus (Physics and Astronomy) inspired us with stories such as Vera Rubin’s who battled to make her contribution including creating the first female bathroom at an observatory in order to be able to gain access and make observations.

The idea for the event arose from a small project run out of the School of Chemistry to promote women in crystallography. However, it soon became clear that it would make an excellent focus for the new faculty and would enable us to explore the extent of our diversity and inclusion practice. We would like to extend this work by holding a further session focussing on identifying a diverse set of inspirational people in our fields and understanding how telling their stories could be incorporated into teaching.

Claire Murray (Diamond Light Source), Age Chapman (ECS) and Charlotte Angus (Physics and Astronomy)