Matilda Sightings

Matilda pops up in the strangest places.  Here she is on a website for a museum in Warsaw, Poland, along with Patrick Fiore’s portrait of Gage, which is in our Women’s Rights room in the Gage Center.

Women’s Day. You can celebrate it or ignore it. However, we want to mention a problem that has existed for hundreds of years and seems to even increase.

This effect Matilda. The phenomenon described in 1993 by Margaret Rossiter is discrimination … by men of scientific achievements of women. This year, an analysis of more than a thousand scientific papers, to the effect that scientists often cite the work of men than women (of course, take into account the proportions of these works). Other studies confirm that, in assessing candidates for professors discriminate against women. Also, research awards are given disproportionately male.

History is replete with examples of overt and brazen discrimination against women in science.

Trotula de Ruggiero is a doctor who lived in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in Italy. Specialized in gynecology. After her death, began to falsify information on it recognizing that such an eminent person could not be a woman. In time, even tried to deny its existence.

Lise Meitner was of Austria, a specialist in nuclear physics. The first described the theoretical basis for nuclear fission. For its achievements in 1944, got the Nobel Prize Otto Hahn.

Chien-Shiung Wu in 1957 performed the first experiments showing the phenomenon of parity violation in nuclear beta decay. In the same year they got the Nobel Prize for this research two men: Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang. Chien-Shiung Wu was omitted.

Rosalind Franklin was an expert on X-ray structural. Her research without their knowledge or consent of Watson and Crickowi available, allowing the discovery of the structure of DNA. 10 years after her death, began to talk about her role in the discovery of the helix.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell was the first observed pulsars in 1974. Nobel Prize for the discovery of Antony Hewish received and Martin Ryle.

The name “Matilda effect” comes from the name of an American activist for the empowerment of women, Matilda Gage, who in the nineteenth century, first drew attention to the underestimation of the scientific achievements of women.

A Women’s Day we wish you all, especially men, that they were wise and righteous. It will be useful to all of us.

(Scroll to find the March 8 entry)

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