Ada Lovelace Day!

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, which if you do not know, is a day to celebrate women who have made achievements in technology and science.  Ada Lovelace was one of the first computer programmers.  She wrote programs for the Analytical Engine invented by Charles Babbage.  Though the machine was never built Lovelace was one of the first people to think of such a thing as a computer program and to understand the concept of software.  So basically, she was awesomely brilliant.

My intention for today’s post was to have finish the book I’m going to tell you about read, but unfortunately I didn’t make the deadline.  In any case, I wanted to feature on my blog today a book about a fascinating woman who have done some pretty amazing things for science.

The first book I am going to talk about Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis by Kim Todd.  What originally interested me about this book was its lovely cover.  Why I kept me interested and made me check it out from the library was the fact that the illustrations on the cover were by Merian herself.  Little is truly known about Merian, other than some astounding facts about her life, including her obsession with metamorphosis.  After reading the introduction to this book, I became amazed myself.  In her 50s, Merian dedicated herself to illustrating the process of metamorphosis, eventually publishing a book of all her illustrations.  Merian discovered many things that we now accept as scientific fact, but those things are attributed to men who thought them up later.  I can’t wait to read this book, what I have read of it so far is amazing!

Maria Sibylla Merian, born in 1647, defied all conventions for women during that era.  She left her husband and joined a religious commune.  Afterward, nearing 50, she embarked on a journey to chronicle metamorphosis, a natural miracle.  Through her original observations, later scientists were able to understand the process.

What books would you recommend for Ada Lovelace Day?  What books do you want to read for Ada Lovelace Day next year?

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10 thoughts on “Ada Lovelace Day!

  1. I just read a great children’s book called Girls Think of Everything. It’s a non-fiction book about the inventions women have created.

  2. I just finished my Ada Lovelace Day blog! (It’s scheduled to go up tomorrow morning) I tell ya’, I had a hell of a time trying to find a young adult book to review – I ended up going with a rather standard (but still interesting) biography of Marie Curie.

    Just from the cover, it looks like Merian was an extremely skilled artist – how typical that her observations would be appropriated by men later on! Thanks for highlighting a book about someone that is relatively unknown!

  3. I have never heard of Ada Lovelace before, so I’m glad I checked out this post! I have a friend I will need to recommend the book too, she’s a proud ag student. 🙂

  4. What fun! Your recommended book sounds AWESOME. If you haven’t read Woman by Natalie Angier, it’s my fave woman science book ever. Not about a particular person though!

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