Ada Lovelace Day

Awesome Ada Lovelace Day news!

by Suw on January 23, 2014

This week saw the announcement of a couple of pieces of Ada Lovelace Day news that I’m very excited about. Last year’s day was fantastic, but this year’s is already shaping up well and, dare I say it, may be even better!

Ada Lovelace Day at the Royal Institution

We’re partnering with the  Royal Institution for Ada Lovelace Day Live on 14 October. This is just the most awesome news, not least because the Ri is the home of the Christmas Lectures and their lecture theatres is one of the most iconic venues in science. Michael Faraday, of whom Lovelace was a huge fan, began the Christmas Lectures there in 1825, as well as the Friday Discourses.

Tickets will go on sale later in the year, direct from the Ri, but there’ll be very limited amounts as the lecture theatre only holds 440 people, so make sure you sign up to the Ada Lovelace Day newsletter to be the first to know!

Our ongoing passion for science

After the success of our first anthology of writing about women in STEM, A Passion for Science: Stories of Discovery and Invention, we have decided to produce another. This time, we are opening up a formal call for contributions of articles about notable women or groups of women in science, technology, engineering and maths, as well as interesting users of technology.

Initially, we are asking people to send us 250 words on the woman or women that they want to write about, explaining why they are notable or interesting, along with a link to a writing sample. Ultimately, we’re looking for 20 articles of between 2,000 and 6,000 words. At this point, we don’t have any kind of budget, but we’re hoping to raise some money to pay for editing, cover design and an honorarium for writers. Profits go towards supporting Ada Lovelace Day, which remains essentially a budgetless organisation run by a very small group of volunteers.

To find out more, take a look at the call for submissionsauthor notes, and style guide. The deadline to submit an idea is 28 February 14, and please do let people  know!!

Ada Lovelace Day, the international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering & maths that I launched in 2009, has gone from strength to strength in the last three years. I’ve been amazed at how much support it’s garnered and how much enthusiasm there is for it.

This year, it has become really clear to me that there’s a lot more that I could do with Ada Lovelace Day, if only we had a bit of cash to pay for it. Since its inception, Ada Lovelace Day has been run entirely by volunteers and by partnering with organisations like the Women’s Engineering Society, Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, London Games Festival and BCS Women. We have managed a huge amount through the kindness and generosity of our volunteers and partners, but there is more we could do.

I now want to create a formal charitable organisation to support women in STEM, not just on one day of the year, but all year round. Some of our goals include creating educational materials about iconic women, providing media training, and building a directory of expert speakers. The fundraiser uses the ‘keep what you earn’ model so all money donated will go towards helping women in STEM.

So if you have a moment, please take a look at our fundraiser and donate what you can.

We also have a couple of events that you might be interested in:

Ada Lovelace Day Live! Featuring the WES Karen Burt Award
Last year’s Ada Lovelace Day Live! event, held with BCSWomen, was such an amazing success that we decided to do it again on 16 October at the IET in London! We are collaborating with the Women’s Engineering Society who will be presenting the prestigious Karen Burt Memorial Award to a newly chartered woman engineer at the event. Performers include:

All hosted by inimitable songstress and one third of the Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Helen Arney!

It will be an fantastic evening of science, technology, comedy and song, featuring all manner of wonders, from marine biology and particle physics to the secrets of fridges and performance robots. We would love to see you there if you can make it!

Tickets are £10 and available from WES.

XX Game Jam
ALD is delighted to have partnered with the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment and the London Games Festival to put on the XX Game Jam, an all-female games hackday where teams will compete to produce the best computer game in just 24 hours. Held on the 26th and 27th October, it’s the first all-women* event of its type.

We’re looking for programmers, producers, artists, designers, sound designers or composers, who would like to try their hand making a game! Direct experience of game development is not required.

Sign up for free!

* We believe the terms ‘XX’ and ‘woman’ are self-defining, so anyone who self-identifies as female is welcome.

There are more events being organised independently by grassroots Ada Lovelace Day supporters both in the UK and (coming soon) around the world. So come along and get involved!!