I was just reading this — what can I say, I’m a sucker for such things — and I really have to run out the door just now, but I wanted to point something out about it:
Quite a number of times, the idea is floated that there has never been a female Einstein, never been a female Orson Welles.
But the thing is, there has been a female Einstein.
Her name’s Emily Noether.
Of course, I’m just painting in broad strokes, here. Science is not really like athletics (no more than art is), i.e. it isn’t a footrace, so who cares who any of us have heard of, and who we haven’t? It isn’t about being the best; it’s about doing the work. And no matter how much people may like to call Hawking or Witten or whoever “the smartest man on the planet”, it’s a silly thing to say. Who cares about such grading systems? What use are they? It isn’t about the mysterious flame of genius or inborn talent — such things may not even exist. And it certainly isn’t about sex differences in the brain or the blood. Look, there is Emily Noether, whose work was as important as anyone’s around the turn of the last century, and she’s only the counterexample I happened to pick. Never been a female Einstein. What complete garbage that statement is.
The world is overflowing with female Einsteins. Male Einsteins, too.
To believe otherwise is sloppy thinking indeed.