Female Role Models (was: Favorite NON-fiction)

Wed Jan 29 07:56:51 PST 2003

> > Grace Hopper, Ada Hutchinson (unsure of last name), many others.
> > There's definitely no lack of female role models in computer
> > science.
>_if_ they're covered in school.  I've never heard of Grace or Ada. :)

Well, to be utterly fair, most people couldn't name a single computer 
scientist.  At a stretch, some *might* recognize the name of Turing.

>After high-school, if you had asked me to name some female scientists, I 
>think only would have come up with Madame Curie.

That is typical and unfortunate.

>I'm sure the role-models exist, the issue is whether the schools are 
>mentioning them and crediting them properly for what contributions they 
>made (whether it's a big contribution, or a small one).

It's a difficult task.  On the one hand, I think that it's necessary to 
acknowledge critical contributions, regardless of gender, and would agree 
that women (and non-whites) do get underrepresented.  On the other hand, I 
would hate to see a resort to tokenism where X numbers of female scientists 
are recognized, regardless of the worth of their contributions.  I think 
that quickly leads to the impression that any women in the field were only 
minor contributors and that all the *real* work was done by the usual 

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