Ep. 31: Women in Science – Ruby Payne-Scott – with guest Dr. Miller Goss

Women in Science

Within the last century, things have changed significantly for women in science.  At the beginning of the 20th century, women rarely were educated in science, and seldom became professional scientists.  Yet there were a few brilliant women who rose to the top.  Today we are discussing one of them - Ruby Payne-Scott.

In today's podcast, we tell the story of Ruby's life.  It illustrates what it was like for women in the sciences, particularly in Australia, at the beginning of the 20th century.  Ruby was a pioneer, going to college to obtain a degree in the sciences.  Later, as Australia became involved in WWII, she was one of the many women who started filling scientific positions that became suddenly vacant as men went off to war. 

After the war, Ruby continued to battle for equal wages and fair treatment for women in science.  But even though she fought hard, there was still a long way to go.  Ruby encountered obstacles within her career when she married, and again, when she gave birth.

Women in the sciences still encounter challenges.  Yet, it is good to look back on what the situation was not that long ago and how far we have come as a community.

Today we talk to Dr. Miller Goss.  Miller is a radio astrophysicst, and has researched and written about the story of women in science through the life of Ruby Payne-Scott.  His book, Making Waves, tells the story of Ruby's life.  We discuss how things have changed for women in the sciences, and how far we still have to go.

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