Galileo, Newton, Gauss, Einstein. If we review the list of the great heroes of science, something attracts attention. There are practically no women. We naturally meet Marie Curie, but we do not know the name of many other scientists who had to face all kinds of difficulties to carry out their discoveries due to her condition as a woman. His work has been blurred or even completely hidden.
For this reason, the Dr. Antoni Esteve Foundation presents The Hidden Science, a book that compiles the trajectory of fifteen scientists who reached great milestones in the history of science. Although some saw their work universally recognized, others were forgotten or relegated to a chiaroscuro area that should be illuminated. The person in charge of doing this is Sergio Erill, professor of pharmacology and patron of the Dr. Antonio Esteve Foundation, who with this new publication wants to bring the life and work of fifteen illustrious women scientists closer to all audiences.
Through two images that a priori have nothing in common, each chapter takes us into the scientific career of women like Hypatia, a key element in the scientific community of Alexandria, or, more recently, Jocelyn Bell, whose role in the discovery of the pulsar never was recognized with the Nobel Prize, which went to his colleagues Antony Hewish and Martin Ryle. Fred Boyle, founder of the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy and considered one of the most important scientists of the 20th century, cataloged the display as a robbery.
Despite the difficulties in carrying out their work, some scientists did finally achieve recognition. This is the case of Mina Fleming (1857-1911), who, after her husband left her pregnant, at the age of 20, went to work as a maid in the house of Professor Edward C. Pickering, director of the Harvard College Observatory. He started working at the observatory doing routine work and demonstrated his talent by developing a star classification system based on his spectrum. Over nine years, Fleming cataloged more than 10,000 stars, while also discovering 10 novae, 52 nebulae, and 310 variable stars. Although much of her work was attributed to a colleague, Mina Fleming was named an Honorary Member of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1906. Fleming Crater of the Moon reminds us of her work.
The Hidden Science was presented in November 2017 in Barcelona and Madrid. The presentation ceremony in Barcelona took place on November 16 at El Palauet in Barcelona and was attended by Joaquina Álvarez Marrón, president of the Association of Women Investigators & Technologists, and journalist Milagros Pérez Oliva.
Images of the presentation in Barcelona
After its presentation in Barcelona, The Hidden Science was presented on November 20 at the Madrid Press Association, with the presence of Pilar Tigeras, Deputy Vice President for Scientific Culture of the CSIC, and the journalist Victoria Toro. All attendees received a copy of the book.
Images of the presentation in Madrid