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Science Skills

My nephew (9) had to draw a scientist and label their skills for school. My sister sent me this picture and explained he’d chosen to draw me. Wow! I love it. I especially love that I have the skill ‘fearless’ along with the complimentary skill ‘good at being safe’.

It reminded me of a book I came across recently when I was preparing for an online school event. I wanted to see what authors were doing online to get some tips, so I watched this Scottish Book Trust video:

What started as research into technique quickly changed into me being fascinated by ‘The Incredible and Fantastically Feminist Life of Ada Lovelace’, and by Mrs Puff, her best friend the cat. The whole video is so engaging, as is the illustrated book. As Ada grew up it made me think of Rachel McCrum’s fantastic performance playing Ada when we toured with the Lady Scientist Stitch and Bitch.

I am not my father’s daughter

That’s the line that always sticks in my head, about her relationship with her father the poet, Lord Byron.

Ada’s life is fascinating, as is her design for the first computer – the difference engine. If you want to know more, buy Anna’s book from your local independent bookstore.

I looked up the rest of Anna Doherty’s work – I was so impressed – she’s an author illustrator who writes about women scientists and women who are neurodiverse (both topics are close to my heart).

She even wrote an illustrated book about Michelle Obama. And then I discovered her first book was about the Bronte sisters. Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books. I felt inspired seeing Anna’s work and Anna, after watching the video.

And in a small way, I felt proud my nephew chose a woman scientist for his school project – and that woman was me.

 

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Ada Lovelace Day

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The Lady Scientist Stitch and Bit*h is back! This time it’s at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh for Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace is widely held to be the first computer programmer – you can read more about her here. Here’s how the Royal Observatory describe tomorrow’s performance on their website:

Lady scientists have made valid scientific discoveries, but they also come together to knit and sew. Here’s a collection of stories: human, hilarious, and horrible that show what it’s like being a woman scientist at different times in history.

It starts on 14th October at 6.30pm and it’s free but ticketed. To book a space please email vis@roe.ac.uk. This event is for adults only.

Who is who?

We all took a scientist, researched them and wrote a monologue in character. The scientists and writers are

And I’ve written a spoken word piece as Emma Darwin, wife of Charles Darwin. Ada is being played tomorrow by Rebecca Douglas and the mad scientist behind the operation, that is the lady with the time machine who’s been stopping off at various points throughout history to collect us all – was written by Ariadne Cass-Maran and is being played tomorrow by Kaite Welsh.

Previous Performances

This Illicit Ink event began at last year’s Edinburgh International Science Festival. It sold out. I wrote about it here. Then we were asked to perform at Heriot Watt University for Woman in Engineering Day last month. I’m excited to be back on stage with my fellow lady scientists on a day that celebrates the achievements of women throughout history.

Men are totally welcome to come to this event too! 

Image Credit: Douglas McBride

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Education, Events, poetry, Science, storytelling, Writing

 

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