ALD Figshare media hub launches

product-figshare-largeWe are very happy to announce that we are partnering with Figshare, another Digital Science Catalyst Award winner, to provide a central hub for all Ada Lovelace Day event organisers to share their photos, video, presentations, posters and any other media they produce. We will also be hosting materials from the last few Ada Lovelace Day Live! events on Figshare, along with our new indie event organisers pack (coming soon!), and our education pack. 

Mark Hahnel, Figshare CEO and founder, said, “Here at Figshare we are thrilled to partner with ALD, as we too want to mark women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. What better way to do this than power the technology to showcase the valuable outputs for such a flourishing initiative like Ada Lovelace Day”

Media on Figshare can be shared and embedded anywhere around the web, and Figshare provide viewing and other statistics, allowing us to know where and when our materials are viewed. Being a part of the wider Figshare community will also allow us to reach more people, and to make sure that ALD events organisers’ hard work is recognised and appreciated more widely. 

How to upload

If you have organised an independent Ada Lovelace Day event at any time and have some photos, video, presentations or other resources you’d like to share, uploading them is easy.

  • Create an account on Figshare
  • Go to My Data
  • Click ‘Create a new item’
  • Add your content and fill in the form. The more metadata you can add, the better.
  • You MUST use the tag “Ada Lovelace Day” and the appropriate year tag, “ALD15”, “ALD14” etc, in order for your content to be pulled into our main page and the year pages. If you do not use these tags, your content will not be attached to our portal.
  • Publish only when you are ready — published items can be edited but not deleted. Use the Preview function to make sure that your page looks the way you want it to.
  • If you get stuck, take a look at Figshare support.

You can upload photos, video, audio, presentations, PDFs, images, datasets and more! And the more materials we gather together, the more we will draw attention to the amazing work done by women in STEM.

ALD Podcast: Episode 1, Dr Helen Czerski & Clive Thompson

iTunes | Google Play | RSS (Soundcloud) | Stitcher

Welcome to the first ever episode of the brand spanking new Ada Lovelace Day podcast, highlighting the work of women in STEM. We’ll be talking to women from around the STEM world about their careers, as well as talking to women and men, about historic and modern women’s achievements, discoveries, and inventions.

In this episode

01:20: We talk to Dr Helen Czerski from University College London about her work as a bubble physicist, and about life on board a research ship.

24:55 We also hear from technology journalist Clive Thompson about Canadian metallurgist and research physicist Ursula Franklin, who’s perhaps most famous for her social and political critique of modern technology, which was published in print as The Real World of Technology. And Clive has written a lovely blogpost summarising the impact Franklin had on him and his career.

Our interviewees

Photo: University College LondonDr Helen Czerski is a physicist and oceanographer at University College London. When she’s not in the lab or on a boat (or doing both at the same time) she presents science programmes for the BBC. Hew new book, Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life, will be published by Transworld in the UK in November, and by Norton in the US, in January. Photo: University College London


Clive ThompsonClive Thompson writes about how technology affects everyday life, and is currently working on his next book, about ‘how programmers think’. He is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and Wired, and author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better. Photo: Tom Igoe


Thanks to our sponsor

ARMThis podcast is brought to you thanks to the generous support of ARM, our exclusive semiconductor industry sponsor. You can learn more about ARM on their website at and you can follow them on Twitter at @ARMHoldings.

If you would like to join ARM as a sponsor of the Ada Lovelace Day Podcast, please email Suw Charman-Anderson.

Get in touch!

If you’d like to send us feedback about the show, or if you’d like to take part, please email us. We’re especially interested in hear from men who would like to talk to us about the women in STEM who have influenced them, especially those women who are less well known.

iTunes & Subscriptions

You can now subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.

Unfortunately, a technical problem with our website is currently preventing us from adding our podcast to iTunes and other podcasting subscription service. We’re working on that, and hopefully we will have that problem solved by next month!

Our links

Why we’re working with the Arthur C Clarke Award

Clarke Award logoYesterday, I was happy to see Tom Hunter, director of the Arthur C Clarke Award, announce that he and I are working together to bring our two organisations closer together. In 2013, the Clarke Award was criticised for having an all-male shortlist. Having an all-male shortlist once in a while (this was only the second in nearly 30 years) should surprise no one, given how few science fiction books by women are published and then submitted for awards. Its statistical inevitability doesn’t, however, mean that the question of how many women write in the genre should go unexamined. Indeed, Tom and I have had some very long, very interesting conversations about it, and it was these conversations that lead us to decide to find a way to bring our organisations together.

STEM and science fiction suffer from the same ‘pipeline’ problem — it’s hard to attract women, and harder to retain them. And both fields have a problem with prejudice, including conscious sexism and the more pernicious unconscious bias. These are complex cultural challenges that need a lot of unpicking, and for which there isn’t a silver bullet. I’ve always been a pluralist and believe that to effectively tackle this problem we need to take many different approaches, none of which will be able to solve the whole problem, but each of which can deal with a particular facet. Together, these many different approaches can effect significant change.

One of the reasons I’ve been wanting to work with the Clarke Award is that there is a delightful overlap between science fiction and STEM, one that I’m keen to explore. Science fiction has inspired many a youngster to go into STEM, and advances in STEM have in turn inspired more authors than we can count. I’m excited to think about how a collaboration between ALD and the Clarke Award can help women on both sides of that equation!

Another reason for this is more personal: I grew up reading my Dad’s science fiction collection. Indeed, I graduated straight from Nancy Drew to Arthur C Clarke, EE Doc Smith, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and whatever else my Dad had on his bookshelves. I read anything and everything, frequently when I should have been asleep.

The first science fiction author that I discovered for myself was Anne McCaffrey and she became one of my favourites. For the first time, I could read about women’s heroism, from a woman’s perspective. So much science fiction then was by men, about men, and for men, and whilst I would read it all and enjoy quite a bit of it, it didn’t speak to me. McCaffrey did.

Whether it was her Pern series, or The Crystal Singer, or Dinosaur Planet, or the Talents series, or any of her other books, McCaffrey’s women were opinionated, strong, talented, flawed and, above all, interesting. And they provided me with the the kinds of female role models that I didn’t see in everyday life, or even on TV. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, my main role models as a teen were McCaffrey’s Lessa and Killashandra, followed the very real Maggie Philbin, presenter on Tomorrow’s World. And that, really was all there was.

Role models aren’t just living women, or historical women, they are fictitious women too. We make sense of the world using stories, and fiction helps us explore ideas of what life would be like in a different reality. Before we can do something, we have to imagine it. Seeing women as leading characters in my favourite books, reading about women doing science, exploring the universe, as experts and leaders, and yes, even flying dragons, helps us to imagine ourselves doing those things, (especially flying dragons). These stories told me that someone, somewhere, thought that women could be more than just a footnote, a nameless character in the background, or a gruesome death to motivate a man.

So working with Tom and the Clarke Award on the issues facing women in science fiction speaks directly to the core mission of Ada Lovelace Day: to create new role models for girls and women in STEM. And it adds a new one: to inspire science fiction authors, especially women, with the amazing, astounding and real stories of women in STEM.

Video: How Ada Lovelace Day Started

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Madrid, to speak to the Ciencia en Redes 2016 conference for science communicators about how Ada Lovelace Day started, and how we use social media to help have an impact far larger than our modest size should suggest.

It was a great opportunity for me to take a look at how much Ada Lovelace Day has grown since I started it, well, actually in late 2008 if we go by the first @findingada tweet! And it prompted me to look forward, and see what kind of work we still need to do, particularly in terms of reaching out to new audiences.

You can watch the whole day on YouTube, or just my talk (also below).

You might also want to take a look at the talk before mine, by Jenni Fuchs of @Museum140, who gave a fantastic talk about some of the Twitter hashtag campaigns she’s run around different museum-related themes. We’ll certainly be following her lead by developing such events ourselves!

Welcoming The IET and Ada Diamonds

Venue Partner: The IETThe IET logo

I’m delighted to announce that The IET, one of the world’s leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community, is supporting us this year by becoming our Venue Partner for Ada Lovelace Day Live!

The IET run the prestigious IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award, the Mary George Memorial Prize for Apprentices and, in conjunction with the Women’s Engineering Society, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) Prize. Aimed at early career professional women, aged between 18 and 35, and working in the UK, nominations for this year’s awards are still open, with a deadline of 30 June 2016.

You can follow The IET on Twitter: @IETWomenNetwork

We are very excited to be holding Ada Lovelace Day Live! in the newly refurbished Kelvin Lecture Theatre, and strongly suggest that you save the evening of Tuesday, 11 October and be ready to snap up tickets when they go on sale!

Ada Diamonds logoSponsor: Ada Diamonds

I’m also thrilled to introduce you to another new sponsor, Ada Diamonds, who use cutting-edge technology to produce bespoke, sustainable, and conflict-free diamond jewellery. Their diamonds are “grown by scientists in labs around the world and are chemically identical to mined AD-014-500-1diamonds, but socially and environmentally superior to Earth-extracted diamonds”.

Ada Diamonds does not just use conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, they also only use “ethically sourced metals of the highest purity”. Their Ada Collection features earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings in a variety of modern and traditional designs.

Ada Diamonds are possibly our most glamorous sponsor so far, and we’re looking forward to perhaps one day seeing their diamonds in person!