Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the diversity of all staff in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and aims to address gender, race and sexual orientation inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of certain groups in senior roles.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Watching the heavens: The female pioneers of science - BBC News

As the bombs fell on London during the Great War, two women kept a vigil of the night sky. Fiammetta Wilson and Grace Cook observed shooting stars - the chunks of space rock that light up the sky as they plummet to Earth. They kept up records of meteors in what was then very much a man's world.
In 1916, the pair were among the first four women to be awarded fellowship of The Royal Astronomical Society - a milestone in the acceptance of women in science. Although their names have largely been forgotten, the first female fellows of the society are being remembered 100 years on.
Dr Mandy Bailey is an astronomer at the Open University and a member of the Royal Astronomical Society council. She says Fiammetta Wilson and Grace Cook ensured scientific work on meteor observations continued while their male colleagues were off fighting a war. "In the years between 1910 and 1920 Wilson observed somewhere in the region of 10,000 meteors and accurately calculated the paths of about 650 of them - no small achievement!" she says.

Read the full story here.

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