Women in Science!  Addressing The ‘’Matilda Effect’’


If you read and believe the books of history, then you must also, be a believer t of  “Science is a guy thing’’. Innovations and discoveries are made by men, which shoot further to “innovation by men’’ then acclaims and prizes follow these men. This is not true ooh! and while celebrating the International Day of women and girl’s in science, this is an issue of concern.

History has lots of missing links when it comes to inventions. Too often, there is an unsung woman genius who deserves just as much credit. The omission of such important people brings us to the ‘Matilda effect”.

“The Matilda Effect” is the term coined by science historian Martha Rossiter to describe the too-common situation of a man getting credit for groundbreaking work done by a woman.

Let’s look at 3 incredible women who made significant inventions yet their efforts went unrecognized in the past, so as to make sense of the present.

Alice Augusta Ball

Alice Augusta Ball has been “all but scrubbed from the history of medicine,” though it was Ball, an African American chemist from Seattle, Washington, who pioneered what became known as the Dean Method, a revolutionary treatment for leprosy.

Esther Lederberg

Esther Lederberg, who made amazing discoveries in genetics that won her husband a Nobel Prize

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Irish astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967, but was excluded from the Nobel awarded to her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish and astronomer Martin Ryle.

These are just but a few women who were victims of ‘’Matilda Effect’’ which is still happening today in the workplace. Matilda effect is a major issue that will be handled during the women and girls in Science and Technology On February 11, 2019.

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