Actress By Day, Inventor By Night: Hedy Lamarr

Popular actress of the ’40s and often dubbed the most beautiful woman of her time, Hedy Lamarr had a lot going for her. At the age of 19, she starred in the Czech movie Ecstasy (1933), the first known (non-pornographic) film to show sex, nudity and to have a woman to orgasm. Tame to these days standards, the film caused uproar in the US, and the state of Pennsylvania even banned it once it was finally released. The film got her recognised by Hollywood, but her acting alone didn’t give her the legacy she deserves. On the side of her acting career, she also helped develop a radio communications system wanting to aid the allied forces against the Germans in 1941. Little did she know it would be the foundation for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

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Overcoming the so-called ‘male, pale and stale’ world of STEM

I wrote a piece over at The Biochemist blog about encouraging young girls into STEM, check it out:

The Biochemist Blog

By Nabila Juhi, Urmston Grammar School

I was going to find a cure for cancer, seven-year-old me decided. From a young age I’ve always been interested in science. It was perhaps one subject where I felt I’d found my niche: it was logical, I was good at it and it provided me with answers to questions I’d yet to even consider. Coming from an immigrant family, with parents who didn’t continue onto higher education, I was encouraged to stick to it – without any mention of the inequalities of women working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Perhaps unsurprisingly, statistics about women in the UK STEM workforce aren’t all that interesting for a child still learning her timetables.

Marie Curie ca. 1898 — Marie Curie — Image by © Underwood & Underwood/CORBIS

Like many young women it didn’t take me long to notice the differences. Of course, the curriculum had its obligatory…

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