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Ada Lovelace Day, 8 Oct 2019 – The First Computer Programmer

Ada Lovelace Day: We should never forget the first computer programmer

second Tuesday of October
Ada Lovelace Day is held every year on the second Tuesday of October.
Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (née Byron; 10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine.
Ada Lovelace Day, 8 Oct 2019

Ada Lovelace Day, 8 Oct 2019 – The First Computer Programmer

Reading through most accounts of history, we could be forgiven for assuming that women were not the warriors, the great thinkers nor the pioneering scientists who shaped and changed our world the first computer programmer.

That men alone birthed art, churned out literature and fiercely challenged the status quo, while women functioned only within the domestic realm. But though the canon has perpetually erased the contribution of women and their work has been systematically discredited, devalued and derided, their light has doggedly broken through the cracks.

The second Tuesday of every October marks Ada Lovelace Day, a day founded in 2009 by technologist Suw Charman-Anderson, to celebrate the achievements of women in Stem careers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and was created in memory of one in particular: Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

It’s well documented that the male-dominated Stem industries are difficult environments for women, who make up just 23 per cent of the workforce. Just last week, a leading scientist presented a talk claiming that “physics was invented and built by men”. He obviously chose to ignore contributions from Marie Curie, Lise Meitner and Chien-Shiung Wu.

Lovelace’s social standing and liberal parents enabled her to be educated in subjects usually reserved for men of her era. They enabled her to achieve things most women could not. She used her privilege to contribute work that was so ahead of its time, it took another hundred years to be fully understood. That’s quite something. For these reasons, she was a clear inclusion for this book about #RenegadeWomen.

Aada Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852, UK) Mathematician and computer scientist

Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

Founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson, it is now held every year on the second Tuesday of October. It features the flagship Ada Lovelace Day Live! ‘science cabaret’ in London, UK, at which women in STEM give short talks about their work or research in an informal, theatre-like setting.10 Women you won’t believe they exist

This year, ALD Live! will be held on Tuesday 8 October, at The IET in London. We have a fabulous line-up of speakers, including astrophysicist Dame Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, ecologist Dr Bala Chaudhary, mathematician Katie Steckles, bio-physicist Yolanda Ohene, marine engineer Hayley Loren, chartered engineering geologist Roni Savage, and evolutionary biologist and science communicator Dr Sally Le Page. Our compère once again will be geek songstress and one third of Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Helen Arney!

ada lovelace

Konnie Huq, who was Blue Peter’s longest running female presenter, will be on hand to sign copies of her new children’s book, Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World. This is a great opportunity to get some personalised Christmas presents bought early, particularly for daughters and granddaughters!

Plus we will have the fabulous Vivian Archer from Newham Books on hand to sell you the very best science books by or about women. And there’ll be a cash bar from 6:30pm until the performance starts at about 7:30pm. If you’d like a taster of ALD Live!, watch the last few years’ talks on YouTube.


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