Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.
Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)
OH WAIT LEMME TELL YOU ABOUT CECILIA PAYNE.
Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.
Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.
Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”
Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).
Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.
Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.
Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.
boys cry girls masturbate boys can like pink and not be gay girls can have short hair and not be a lesbian boys can like ballet girls can like video games boys can be hot without a six pack girls can be hot without a hairless body boys can have hair down to their waists girls can have stretch marks, curves and back fat
gender doesn’t determine what you can and cannot enjoy, what you can and cannot look like or what you can and cannot do
I’m so fucking weird It’s like: I’m the nicest rude person you’ll ever meet. I don’t give a fuck about anything but at the same time, I care about a lot. I hate people but I want to be everyone’s friend. I hate myself but I’m completely fabulous. I need help.
To me it’s interesting at the end of season one, we find out that the clones have been patented. That always resonated for me as a woman to have this idea of our bodies not being our own. There’s this media ownership over the images of women’s bodies and there’s such an emphasis on your body representing who you are and defining who you are and also fitting into a specific box. I feel that’s a very resonant theme for young women like myself, and especially women in this industry.