Neuroscientist-turned-designer Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya is tired of the notion that the sciences are male-dominated fields. There are hundreds of female scientists whose work is integral to contemporary scientific innovation — take, for example, Marie Curie, the two-time Nobel Laureate whose work enabled the discovery of radioactivity — but these women often go unrecognized. Phingbodhipakkia’s project and graphic poster series Beyond Curie aims to change that.
In an interview with Fast Company, Phingbodhipakkiya stated, “There’s such a rich history of women kicking ass in science, and very few people know about it. Researching their stories, it became clear we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. They were discouraged from getting an education, for fear it would hurt them as wives and mothers. But they persisted. Their stories are inspiring and the world should know their names.”
So Phingbodhipakkiya created 32 posters of female scientists that are perfect graphics for science classrooms. The collages include Grace Hopper, the computer scientist who coined the term “computer bug.”
And Mae Jeminson, the first black woman in space.
And Chien-Shiung Wu, a 20th century physicist who contributed to the Manhattan project.
And Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.
Phingbodhipakkiya’s project launched on Kickstarter at the end of January. Using Kickstarter as a platform allowed her to rally a community around her goal; Phingbodhipakkiya’s crowdsourcing helped her include computer and biological scientists.
When asked what the 32 posters mean to them, the project’s backers stated: “I’ve heard of many of these women’s discoveries, but not that it was a woman who did it.” And: “... now, with what is happening in the U.S., with the political climate and normalizing misogynistic comments I feel it is even more essential that we put effort into recognizing these women.”
Ultimately, Phingbodhipakkiya hopes that “we can stop thinking that a picture of a scientist is a guy with crazy hair.” Prior to creating Beyond Curie, Phingbodhipakkiya worked on The Leading Strand project, which pairs neuroscientists with designers to help render complex ideas into simpler, publicly-digestible terms. She hopes to turn Beyond Curie into an exhibition and book, for which she is searching for a publisher. Any leftover proceeds from Beyond Curie while be donated to the Association for Women in Science.
Top Photo: beyondcurie.com
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Olivia Loperfido is an English and psychology major at New York University's College of Arts and Sciences, and the junior editor of NYU's Mercer Street (2017-'18). She enjoys spending time with her dogs and tortoise, watching RuPaul's Drag Race, and contacting her state representatives. Follow her on Instagram here and contact her via email here.