Welcome to this new column, which highlights awesome articles and other content created or expanded to fight systemic bias in the previous month! This first column will highlight content created in the first two months of 2016, because why the fuck not. People wrote some great stuff:
This month in systemic bias, we had to write a whole bunch of shit that should have been written forever ago and generally made the world a better place. Go read these articles and learn about some badass people.
- Christian Ramsay: a badass gardener and botanist who collected hella plants and, y’know, just contributed massive catalogues of detailed knowledge and gigantic herbaria. She’s now a good article thanks to the awesome efforts of Worm That Turned!
- Elizabeth Alexander: this lady was an ACCIDENTAL astronomer. In her regular life she was a freaking geologist who accidentally made a bigger discovery (radio waves coming from the Sun) than most of us could dream of by, like, trying our whole lives. I'll be in the corner feeling inadequate if anyone needs me.
- Angela Hartley Brodie: she only discovered aromatase inhibitors, one of the most important classes of breast cancer drugs. She only saved millions of lives. Seriously, COME ON. I can’t believe we had to write this shit in fucking 2016. Thanks to Staceydolxx for correcting this giant glaring omission.
- Mary Amdur: she discovered that inhaling sulfuric acid was bad for you. I shit you not, she got fired for discovering that. Sometimes I have very little faith in humanity. Except then I read about people like Mary fuckin' Amdur, who made a major discovery about smog and public health and persevered despite getting fired, eventually being TOTALLY vindicated, and I feel a little better.
- Kathryn Barnard: basically the Florence Nightingale of our generation, literally invented the modern isolette and discovered (DISCOVERED!) that rocking babies is good for them. And she quantified it so well that basically every hospital in the US was like “shit, we better get rocking chairs”. And we didn’t have an article on her 'til, like, yesterday. She spent her life studying parent-child bonding and early childhood development and in her spare time (hah!) founded a nonprofit and a research center. Come on, join me in the inadequacy corner. It’s cozy.
- Mary Fernández: kickass computer scientist who, in her spare time, works on helping young women enter STEM careers. Hella great combination of awesome career and awesome nonprofit work = awesome scientist.
- Dottie Thomas: the “mother of bone marrow transplantation” who didn’t have an article 'til, like, last week. She and her husband were the hematology power couple of the 20th century (words I never thought I’d say in a row) and guess who had an article? Yeah, her husband. Guess who got the Nobel Prize alone for their collaborative work? Yeah, her husband. I’m still really fucking salty about this. “Just a technician”, my ass. Add her to the long list of “women who got totally screwed out of a Nobel because they worked with their husbands/other dudes/were women”. It’s a long fucking list.
- Anita Kurmann: this one is sad. She was a cool-ass Swiss endocrinologist/researcher/surgeon (did she ever sleep?) but got hit by a truck and died. But not before she discovered how to make thyroid cells from stem cells, something people have been trying to do for DECADES.
After reading this, if you feel inspired to write something yourself, let me know. I’ll feature it next time.
- Emily Temple-Wood is a member of the Arbitration Committee and founder of WikiProject Women scientists.