Women are sometimes considered outsiders in the science and technology fields, but Lovelace and many of the female computer programmers who followed her are proof that this paucity is a function of society, not capability. We forget or never learn about the female “computers” who programmed early mechanical machines in World War II, or that the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan once ran articles suggesting that women were perfectly suited for programming.
If the lack of acknowledgement of women’s contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields grinds your gears, you can help promote their legacy in Lovelace’s honor today. Brown University and Wikipedia have organized a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. From 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET, participants at Brown and those online will be creating, expanding or updating the Wikipedia pages of female STEM notables and pioneers.