Minimising men

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We often hear that the achievements of women are minimised and instead the glory and credit is given to the men who were involved. That may be true but the reverse is true too.


Marie Curie is often held up as the discoverer of Radium. In fact, Marie Curie was the most junior of three scientists working together. The others were here husband Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel.

Hedy Lamarr is frequently stated to be the discoverer of frequency hopping technology. In fact, she is the co-discoverer - with a man, composer George Antheil. They wanted this to be used to make radio-guided torpedoes during the Second World War that would be difficult to jam. While innovative the technology was not adopted at the time, perhaps due to technical limitations. Frequency hopping found many uses from the 1960s onwards but it was not based on Lamarr and Antheil's work. Norman Abramson, developer of ALOHAnet, perhaps more than any other single individual, laid the groundwork for modern wireless networks.[1]

Even the iconic Amelia Earhart had a man with her for most of her most famous journeys. She wasn't famous because her achievements were singly notable, but rather that she was the first woman to do what many men had done before her.

While Ada Lovelace is often called the first computer programmer, in fact, her role was unclear. She may have simply been Babbage's copyeditor.

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