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    Unearthing the legacy of Harvard's female 'computers'.

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    papa_umau
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    Unearthing the legacy of Harvard's female 'computers'.

    Post by papa_umau on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 12:04 pm

    In a cramped Harvard University sub-basement, a team of women is working to document the rich history of women astronomers.

    More than 40 years before women gained the right to vote, female "computers", ( or females that compute ), at Harvard College Observatory were making major astronomical discoveries.

    Between 1885 and 1927, the observatory employed about 80 women who studied glass plate photographs of the stars. They found galaxies and nebulas and created methods to measure distance in space.

    They were famous - newspapers wrote about them, they published scientific papers under their own names. But they were virtually forgotten during the next century.

    A recent discovery of thousands of pages of their calculations by a modern group of women has spurred new interest in their legacy.

    Read the full and shocking report from The BBCHERE




    As a committed male feminist, ( there is such a thing you know ), I was really pleased to read this report about how female astronomers had done such great work even before women were allowed to vote.

    It was sad to read that even although this research was ground-breaking, the work done was simply lost in time, until re-discovered.

    Being suspicious about the male motives at that time I suspected that anti-feminists in the astronomical sciences were happy to just take this information to themselves and quietly shelve it as being work done by women.

    I don't think this would happen today, at least I hope not.

    Comments please.


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    zathrus
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    Re: Unearthing the legacy of Harvard's female 'computers'.

    Post by zathrus on Thu 31 Aug 2017, 11:44 am

    I don't think that any sensible men ever thought that women had less brain power, even although they were definitely held down for high-level positions for many years.

    Another view of the cleverness of women was when they helped to break the German codes at Bletchley Park.

    Here is a link to the history of women in Bletchley Park:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Bletchley_Park
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    papa_umau
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    Re: Unearthing the legacy of Harvard's female 'computers'.

    Post by papa_umau on Fri 01 Sep 2017, 11:53 am

    Brilliant link Zathrus. That saved me from doing it.

    It is good that clever women are now starting to get the recognition for their hard work and their mental and physical skills.

    Much work still to be done in that respect, still.


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    Angie baby
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    Re: Unearthing the legacy of Harvard's female 'computers'.

    Post by Angie baby on Sat 02 Sep 2017, 11:42 am

    Thanks very much for you're support for women Papa, and I already knew that you were a feminist in your own masculine way.

    Keep up the good work.
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    Re: Unearthing the legacy of Harvard's female 'computers'.

    Post by papa_umau on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 12:07 pm

    Thanks Angie.

    Yes, I have been an active feminist for almost all of my life as I have always thought that women in Britain and across the world, especially in the Muslim world, are treated atrociously.


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    Hell's Granny
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    Re: Unearthing the legacy of Harvard's female 'computers'.

    Post by Hell's Granny on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 12:40 pm

    Also, Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage's assistant, aka known as 'Calculating Ada!'
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    Re: Unearthing the legacy of Harvard's female 'computers'.

    Post by papa_umau on Sun 03 Sep 2017, 1:09 pm

    Yep, she was one of them.


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