Faculty of Science Staff

Sharing successes, events and other updates from across the Faculty

Topic: Maths

Hidden Figures

📥  Maths

The US film “Hidden Figures” is due to have its release in the UK on Friday (17th Feb). There was a fascinating discussion on BBC R4 Front Row programme this week describing the true life events that inspired the film. For those not aware of the film it tells the story of three African-American women mathematicians working at NASA during the early years of the Space programme, one of whom (Katherine Jackson) did the calculations for the launch trajectory. The story tells of not only the battle for recognition of the women but also against a background of racial segregation (including at NASA). It’s a story that I was completely unaware of and is completely shocking to think this was only 50 years ago. Only recently did President Obama recognise Katherine Jackson by awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. She also appeared in the BBC list of 100 Women in 2016. The story only serves to emphasise why it is important to promote science to all, independent of race and gender, and to ensure the opportunities to succeed are open to all.