A blog for the troubles and triumphs of a run of the mill super hero. Nothing special besides the obvious.
Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.
Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)
OH WAIT LEMME TELL YOU ABOUT CECILIA PAYNE.
Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.
Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.
Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”
Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).
Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.
Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.
Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.
Gee. I wonder what’s stopping us from learning about women like these. … I wonder just how many discoveries women have actually been responsible for instead of men, and why, for generations upon generations, it has been so easy for men to overshadow and even steal the work of women, all why spreading the idea that women “don’t contribute to science and invention”. I actually was told by a man once, that women didn’t deserve equality and that feminism was ridiculous, and his whole argument was based on the fact that men are the inventors, entrepreneurs, and scientists, while women do nothing but get taken care of by men… and I was like um. You DO realize that not only have there been female scientists, entrepreneurs, and inventors… but that in order for women to even succeed in any of those endeavors back then (and at times still even today) they had to defy the odds and work extra hard, and at the end of they day they’d be lucky if they were acknowledged for their work for even a second! THIS IS WHY THEY NEED TO TEACH MORE ABOUT FEMALE SCIENTISTS IN SCHOOL. Because misogynist assholes think that because he hasn’t heard of a lot of female scientists… that that is because women DON’T want to do science, instead of the real issue being that women have a hard time being WELCOMED in the Scientific Community, or even having their hard effort and discoveries ACKNOWLEDGED, often times having their work credited to a man instead. Hell, there’s even evidence that Einstein worked WITH HIS WIFE and that the law of relativity was written by BOTH of them. Yet she is never ever mentioned. Because he took all the credit later on. Einstein was a raging misogynist. But no. Glory to Einstein. Rock on and fuck the patriarchy.
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-The Walking Dead