Our Discovery ~ by Emma

Women need to be credited for discoveries and achievements they made that most people don’t know about.

One discovery is the double helix, discovered by Rosalind Franklin who studied at Cambridge. She did her investigation at King’s College of DNA with the x-ray technology available. Two years later In 1952, she had photo 51, the most famous photo of DNA. Unfortunately, Morris Wilkins showed her work without her consent James Watson and Francis Crick. They found the right structure after some extra investigation. Rosalind Franklin found it on her own later on and people thought her work supported Mr. Watson and Mr. Crick’s work. She died of cancer and the ones who won the Nobel Peace prize and took a lot of the credit were James Watson and Francis Crick.

Nettie Stevens discovered the difference in chromosomes to identify the different sexes. She studied at the Western Academy and worked as a teacher. After saving money for 16 years she got her Ph.D. in Biology. She studied mealworms to try to learn of their difference in sex identification. Finally, she found out that females had 20 large chromosomes and males had 19 large chromosomes, and one small chromosome, referring to the y chromosome. Knowing of spring is determined by the male. A different team of researchers named, Edmund Willson and Thomas Hunt Morgan, published their version of the investigation around the time Nettie Stevens published her discovery. Her book studies in spermatogenesis were published in 1905. Not long after, Nettie Stevens died of breast cancer. Thomas Hunt Morgan declared she only had some importance in the discovery of sex identification, leading him to receive more credit than she did. Nettie Stevens had more evidence and contributed more than she was credited for. Luckily, more recently analyzed evidence determined that her writing had more evidence, finally attributing the discovery to her research.

A final group of women who deserve more recognition is Kathrine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson. Kathrine Johnson was the woman who calculated at the research center in Virginia in 1953. Calculating and plotting test data helping the plan of launching the first astronaut to the moon. A small fun fact she ended up graduating high school at 14 and college at 18 and became a math researcher. Also due to her hard work she was awarded the presidential medal of freedom. In the movie Hidden Figures which showcased what she dealt with in her life however a certain part of the movie was changed from reality. In the movie she went walking all the way to the bathroom of color and coming back to work. While in reality she ended up using the white women’s bathroom. Personally I liked how she did this in reality because she showed that I deserve more equal rights than having a white guy be like yes get in. She still did it because she deserved to be treated equally. 

Dorothy Vaughan was a woman who worked at NASA as a math researcher and mathematician. She helped NASA during the time of the space race. She worked at NACA in NASA and analyzed data, solve equations. She also did this under segregated conditions not giving her enough recognition. However over time things have changed and she became the first female black supervisor for NACA in 1951.  She specializes in fortran, a computer language she taught herself and other women of color. To help them get jobs easier.

Mary W. Jackson became NASA’s first black female engineer in 1958. Which she helped in the space programs. She even helped out design the space shuttle used. She managed a women’s program for women and worked hard to bring in more women into NASA. She was testing supersonic pressure tunnel capsules to see if they were safe for use. She went as an assistant to Kazimierz Czarneck in the supersonic pressure tunnel. After hard work she became an engineer at 58. She got a demotion years later to become the women’s program manager to help more women and minorities gain more opportunities. 

The media hasn’t presented the final women on our list. The youngest astronaut at NASA is Alyssa Carson. At 15 years old she was training to be an astronaut to go to mars with tons of training and space. Was the youngest person that completed NASA’s space academy and did all the NASA’s space camps. Got even her rocket license. And she was also in a panel with Ph.D. people who were there to talk about the mission to Mars in 2030. She was even in the IB program doing college credit courses at high school. She worked so hard for her goal to be at NASA and is super smart. She’s such an amazing person who inspired so many people to go for their dreams at a young age like her. 

My Eyes 

What I noticed for all these women is that the media hasn’t shown their stories or their stories are shown just under the rug. All of these women had such a huge impact in history and in the current generation showcasing their strength and hard work. However, like many important things like the rest of Helen Keller’s story of her helping blind people and spreading awareness for the poor and other important stories like Alyssa Carsons. Most people don’t know much about these people’s stories. It’s not taught, it’s barely presented in the media and textbooks hide constant information. Most of what we learned of history is just white men. What we learned is white washed history and important people who make an impact in our society are not even credited. We women haven’t even been credited with so many things. There are so many more women out there that are still yet to be credited or discovered for their amazing achievements. And many girls are trying to break through the barriers and the media turns a blind eye. It sickens me how many times I haven’t heard many stories about women doing so many life-changing things. I wish textbooks, media and information would teach us about important women in our lives and stop being biased towards men. And give us a shot out there like them for our discoveries.

A solution to our problem: 

We can’t stay here and stay and let this happen so there are a few things I believe we are able to do. One of them is talking to our teachers and school representatives. Ask and request certain books or certain information related to women in history to have pressure for more history equality. Another thing we can do is talk to members of our local library like sending an email or just talking to them about books you’ll wish to be available where you are. Even going into articles yourself and finding out about amazing women and then spreading awareness. A little small thing is when you find out about a an amazing underrated women you can post about it on social media. Raise awareness to the success of these amazing women so more people can see. These are just my opinion of little small things we can do.

 

Sources:

Mary Jackson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_unr-679G5k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpRDtnT_LXY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQlTbi30DaY

Dorothy Vaughan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SGKWc91gPU&t=135s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfHHu9lhMPI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQUoUknXMFY

Katherine Johnson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4j_LpKzcZQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHL23SRDIvI

Nattie stevens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JuhxVuHlxY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBJgp2TgvGY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuFCrmMRTB4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM9W522PBmI

Rosalind Franklin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIP0lYrdirI&t=1s

Alyssa Carson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ychKZIG8ms

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VhmI11ToiE&t=163s

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