Geekish girls

The Cnet newsite has a rather politically incorrect item this week listing the Top Ten girl geeks. I’m not entirely sure how they’re defining geek but among those listed are Marie Curie, Ada Byron (Lovelace), Rosalind Franklin (after whom my wife wanted to name our daughter), and…Paris Hilton (don’t ask).

So, where’s crystallography pioneer Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin? And, what about Judith Howard, first female Professor of Chemistry in the UK? Then there’s Helen Sharman first British woman in space (also a chemist), finally what about Margaret Thatcher (she trained as a chemist too and then spent her time in office effectively dismantling UK science, can’t get more geekish than that!

One thought on “Geekish girls”

  1. Geek may be defined as the kind of person who like to push things to the extreme in a particular area. Web 2.0 geeks or web application geeks for instance do everything using the online version of available software and tend to extend the application all over their lives.
    Marie Curie was a geek because she pushed her interest in radioactivity to the extreme: she discovered radioactivity, both the phenomenon and the substances, and shared her discovery. She used to carry pockets of radioactive isotope around the streets (compared to modern geeks who carry mobile versions of Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. and blog via mobile blogging). She died from massive exposure to radioactivity, which ultimately proved further the effects of radioactivity on the human body. Her life was so extreme in this area that she is truly a geek by definition. I think a good scientist should be a geek to some extent.

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