Ada Lovelace Day – an international celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and math

On Tuesday, 9 October NHSBT will be joining hundreds of organisations across the globe celebrating Ada Lovelace Day to inspire girls and young women into Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) study and careers. 

Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 from the disastrous marriage that ended the same year, between the romantic poet George Byron and Baroness Annabella Milbanke.  Annabella ensured from an early age that Ada, like herself, had a thorough education, virtually unheard of for a girl of that time, emphasising mathematics as a means to rid Ada of her father’s romantic, poetic tendencies, which she regarded as a product of his ‘lunacy’.

Ada grew up highly educated, inheriting her mother’s incredible intellect and her father’s legendary creativity.  She was fascinated by the rapidly developing technology that was advancing the industrial revolution. Ada foresaw the ways in which the early mathematical machinery, the ‘Difference Engine’, created by her close friend and collaborator Charles Babbage, could be used to compute more than numbers, such as letters and musical notations and, in 1840, published the first-ever computational programme.

Unfortunately, women of her day were generally regarded as intellectually inferior and her work was, for the most part, ignored. Had her work been taken more seriously, the advance of computer science could have started a century earlier and who knows what impact that would have had on our lives today.

We aim to celebrate this year’s event in two ways:

  • The first is to invite young women in Bristol and Liverpool to see the many inspirational women and various STEM roles that many young women may not even know exist.
  • The second is where YOU can get involved. We are creating a set of online resources and encourage you all to take them into your homes and communities to talk to girls and young women about NHSBT, the inspirational women who work here and what it is they do.  There will be videos, bios and profiles as well as further information on Ada and NHSBT, all aimed at the academic key stages up to college/university level.

The Ada Lovelace Day site can be found here.

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