Menu visibility control

Video

Events

Startup Surgery

Most Recent

Tech City Voices

Making gender pay gap reporting work for tech

News

Top tech stats: UK FinTech, Brexit, cybersecurity and more

News

Startup Weekly: Just Eat’s FoodTech cohort, TrueStart’s call for applications and much more

Press Releases

Redbox Digital Gains Prestigious Magento Global Elite Partner Status
More than £1m transacted using Loot in its first 4 months
HT2 Labs receives Series A investment from City & Guilds Group

Ada Lovelace Day: See Ada at London Science Museum

Ada ada ada
twitterlinkedinFacebookgoogle_plustwitterlinkedinFacebookgoogle_plus

Ada Lovelace’s name may have been revived within tech circles in recent years, not least thanks to the women in tech awareness day held in her name since 2009.

But one woman says she is fighting the “serious lack of women in history” by bringing the ‘world’s first computer programmer’ back to life, eyeing London’s West End.

Zoe Philpott has rather appropriately crowdfunded to get her one-woman show Ada Ada Ada on the road to showcase one of STEM’s quieter heroes.

Ada Lovelace Day: Highlighting the gender gap in UK tech

“The Ada Lovelace story is amazing and will inspire people to look beyond the usual role models. She was thinking of a future that was yet to exist,” Philpott says.

“It’s not enough to talk to young people about STEM so I’m telling a story about someone who kicked arse and changed the world.”

Lovelace’s contribution to early computer programming, particularly her work with mentor Charles Babbage, is still disputed.

But Philpott says we have Lovelace to thank for the ‘if this, then that’ conditionals we rely on today.

Lovelace’s efforts were recognised by her contemporary Michael Faraday, but it’s only the latter who has a unit of measurement named in his honour.

Philpott, boh techie and luvvie, has enlisted a clothes designer, plus a technologist, to create a wearable tech costume fit for this 21st century revival.

“The show merges past and present, while also looking at the impact of today’s technology,” Philpott explains, no doubt the line ‘poetical scientist’ Lovelace would have taken if she were alive today.

“I want to use tech that would make Ada proud.”

The interactive storyteller, who hasn’t performed in a theatre for 10 years because of its “bad public press”, recently raised just over £5,000 to get Ada on the first leg of her journey.

That’s fully clothed for a free show at the London Science Museum on 28 October, complete with 650 metres of conductive thread powering a glove that operates her LED dress.

Then Philpott, and Lovelace, are on the road up to Manchester’s Science Festival for a show on 30 October.

Ultimately Philpott wants to get to the West End, along with creating a crowdfunding campaign for five statues of women in tech.

“There are male baseball players, musicians… but where are the statues I relate to? Ada was essentially written out of history so I want to update it with her story, along with several others, one at a time.”

2015 is the bicentenary of Lovelace’s birth, the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, who quickly abandoned his family. She died in 1852 aged 36.

“Ada was working against the odds,” Philpott concludes. “Things don’t need to stay the same.”

 

Enter your email address to receive updates straight to your inbox

* indicates required
Send me news on...
twitterlinkedinFacebookgoogle_plustwitterlinkedinFacebookgoogle_plus

Editor's picks

gender pay reporting

Making gender pay gap reporting work for tech
posted 1 hour ago

tech stats

Top tech stats: UK FinTech, Brexit, cybersecurity and more
posted on April 22, 2017

startup weekly

Startup Weekly: Just Eat’s FoodTech cohort, TrueStart’s call for applications and much more
posted on April 21, 2017

Divido EP winner

Meet our FinTech Startup of the Year: Divido
posted on April 21, 2017

shanghai

GP Bullhound: UK’s ranking in FinTech declines slightly as China takes the lead
posted on April 21, 2017

TWIT 21.04

Nauta Capital’s $100m raise, Cera’s £1.4m Seed top up, Appear Here’s US expansion and more in the Week in Tech
posted on April 21, 2017