Kay Antonelli‘s official civil service title, as printed on her employment documentation, was “computer”. During her work as a computer, she invented the subroutine (a sequence of computer instructions which can be used repeatedly). Today, the subroutine is essential programming for all.
A unit of ‘shyness’ called a dirac is named after the famous theoretical physicist and father of quantum physics, Paul Dirac. Known for his succinctness, his colleagues jokingly defined 1 dirac as 1 word per hour.
In 1918, microbiologist Alice Catherine Evans warned that raw milk should be pasteurized to protect people from various diseases. She was met with skepticism, particularly because she was a woman and did not have a Ph.D. During the 1920s, scientists around the world made the same findings.
In 1749 a scientist, Emilie du Châtelet, feared that bearing a child at 42 would be the last thing she did. She worked furiously on a magnum opus that would eventually change the world of physics. Within days of completing her work, she gave birth to a daughter and died soon after.
For months, scientists in France could not figure out why seagulls they were tracking were traveling far inland, away from their breeding colony. Eventually, they traced the seagulls’ path and discovered they were visiting a chip factory.
The term “scientist” was coined in the 1830s to describe Mary Somerville. A woman. Because the usual term “man of science” didn’t apply and she wasn’t just a physicist, geologist, or chemist – she was all three.
Scientist Henry Cavendish suffered from extreme shyness “bordering on disease”. He discovered several laws not attributed to him because of this shyness. Had secret staircases in his home to avoid his housekeeper -females caused him “extreme distress” and devised a note system to talk to her.
Just to demonstrate to you how amazingly self-effacing Henry Cavendish was, he first discovered 5 entire laws that were never even attributed to him. These were:
– Richter’s Law of Reciprocal Proportions,
– Ohm’s Law,
– Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures,
– Coulomb’s Law
– Charles’s Law of Gases
Why did he never take the credit? Why did none of these laws bare his name? Because he was extremely introverted, and extremely shy. Due to Henry’s asocial and secretive behavior, he eschewed and avoided publishing his findings.
Mileva Maric, Albert Einstein’s first wife, was one of the first female physicists in the world. There is evidence she contributed greatly to Einstein’s research, including his theory of special relativity. Einstein once said, “She solves for me all my mathematical problems.”
The scientist John von Neumann (1903-1957) could by the age of 6, divide two 8 digit numbers in his head and converse in ancient Greek. He published over 150 papers during his lifetime, and is considered by many to be among the most intellegent humans to have ever lived.
Sir Isaac Newton had a dog called “Diamond” who knocked over a candle and set fire to twenty years worth of his research.
90% of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today.
When Stephen Hawking’s first wife, Jane, saw the movie script for The Theory of Everything, she deleted all the F-words, saying “Scientists in the 1960s and 70s didn’t use the F-word and I’m pretty sure they don’t now either.”