SHE-LOGY: But first, they are smart women.
This is a feature of women famous for other reasons. What is not as widely known is that they are smart, too. (If you argue otherwise, I’ll be glad to know that you’ve known them first as smart women that they were/are.)
HEDY LAMARR. Born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in 1914.
SHE WAS FAMOUSLY KNOWN AS the glamorous film star from the late 1930s to the 1950s, promoted as the “world’s most beautiful woman”. Her biggest movie was Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah, the highest grossing film of 1949, where she played the female character.
SHE WAS A SMART WOMAN, TOO. She was the girl who helped paved the way for Wi-Fi.
As contribution to the war efforts, she co-invented the technology behind frequency hopping communication systems with composer George Antheil. Hedy was married to a munitions manufacturer at 19, that’s how she learned a lot of weapons technology, including torpedo control systems.
“It’s a method that protects radio communications from enemy snoops by switching frequencies in a preprogrammed pattern. Both the sender and receiver know the order of switches, so they can maintain constant connection while losing the bad guys.” (Source: The Atlantic)
Those inventions have more recently been incorporated into Wi-Fi, CDMA and Bluetooth technology.
SHE WAS A SMART WOMAN, TOO. She has an IQ of 140 and a well-known member of MENSA.
Before she became a movie star, she was a high-achieving student. Fluent in Swedish through participation in her high school’s exchange program. She received an honorary doctorate from Bates College for her work on gender studies in the media.
She founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (seejane.org), the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence the need to dramatically improve, gender balance, reduce stereotyping and create diverse female characters in entertainment targeting children 11 and under.
Her organization presented the first-ever international study on gender images in global films to the UN, in collaboration with UN Women, and The Rockefeller Foundation.
ÉMILIE DU CHÂTELET. Born Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet in 1706.
Ok, she may be an exaggerated example of this set, because either she wasn’t known at all or she was known more as the great scientist that she was.
SHE WAS FAMOUSLY KNOWN AS the lover of French philosopher and writer Voltaire.
Voltaire described her as “a great man whose only fault was being a woman”.
SHE WAS A SMART WOMAN, TOO. French mathematician, physicist and author during the Age of Enlightenment.
When you search for the top 10 (maybe even top 5) greatest female scientists, her name would likely come up. Her greatest achievement is considered to be her translation and commentary on Isaac Newton’s work Principia Mathematica. The translation, published posthumously in 1759, is still considered the standard French translation.
SHE-LOGY is a blog project open to everyone who is interested to celebrate women this whole month of March. If you’re reading this, I extend that invitation to you to contribute post/s about the women you’d like to honor. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading this.