Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Real World of Women and Technology

Ursula Franklin is my pick for Ada Lovelace Day

It isn't often that you get to meet with one of your heroes.

I admired Ursula Franklin ever since I stumbled upon her Massey Lectures called The Real World of Technology at my university library. Not only did that book make me a fan of the Massey Lectures series but I would credit her work with forever banishing the idea from my brain that "technology is neutral".

But she wasn't one of my heroes until I had the honour of hearing her speak at a CAUT Status of Women Conference. That's because it was only then did I learn about her lifetime of work dedicated to science, to pacificism, and to equity. You really should learn more about her and her work too.

What I remember most fondly about that conference are the moments when I had to leave the hotel in order to make the long train ride home. Just before I left I gathered up the courage to say something to Ursula (I have no idea what I said) and then turned to the door to take my leave. And then Ursula Franklin also announced that it was also time for her to go and she turned her small and frail smiling self to me, took my hand, and we walked down the hallway out back into the Real World.

It isn't often you get to hold hands with one of your heroes.

(This post fulfills my Ada Lovelace Day pledge.)

1 comment:

James said...

Really great book.