“She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children. “The world’s best mom,” her son Matthew said.” This was the first sentence of the New York Times obituary of a pioneering rocket scientist Yvonne Brill. A pioneering rocket scientist. You would have never guessed that she was a rocket scientist from this sentence, nor the fact that she won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2011!
As you can see, females are rarely portrayed as scientists who happen to be female, but are instead, are portrayed as females who on the side, happen to do science. Men on the other hand always are portrayed as scientists who just happen to have other hobbies or a family.
Sometimes you wonder how these things they say about female scientists would sound if we said them about male scientists… (the reverse-Finkbeiner test) And with that, I present Albert Einstein!Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. At age five, Einstein started his elementary school education in Munich. Einstein often felt alienated and had trouble with learning in the strict Prussian education system. However, this all changed with the help of a Polish medical student, Max Talmud. Talmud would often read and discuss different ideas with Einstein and ignited his curiousity about the behaviour of light.
At the age of 17, Einstein began school at the Zurich Polytechnic University. There, he met his wife, Mileva Maric, a fellow physics student from Serbia. Unfortunately, his parents did not approve of this relationship because Mileva Maric’s Serbian background. However, in 1902, Einstein’s father became very ill and finally gave Einstein his blessing for them to marry. Einstein then became the father of two children, Hans Albert and Eduard.
Juggling the responsibilities of fatherhood and his scientific endeavours, in 1905, Einstein finally finished four papers on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of matter and energy. These papers altered the world. From his deduction that particles could be converted into a lot of energy (E = mc^2) scientists after him were able to think of creating nuclear power plants. From his ideas of relativity, people were able to understand the nature of the universe better, and used his theory to create accurate GPS’s and to predict events. In 1921, Einstein received his well-deserved Nobel Prize for his discoveries about the photoelectric effect.
In addition to thinking about science, Einstein also enjoyed making goods and distributing them to poor children. As Cohen, Einstein’s driver had once said,
“He was really an incredible person that way. He really wanted to serve people. He would tell me, ‘You earn money to make a living, but you have to give something back to get a life.’ Boy, he pounded that into me.”
Einstein loved bird-watching every morning and evening and would often go on trips outdoors while playing the violin, tears streaming down his face from the sheer beauty of the music.
On April 18, 1955, Einstein died at age 77 from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. To this day, Einstein is still an incredible inspiration to men all around the world, showing that you could indeed be a father, a husband, and a scientist all at the same time.