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Cecilia Payne – Gaposchkin

It’s the start of Explorer Gals Month and Katie brought us a mountain cookie, Amy reminds us that no one knows how to pee in public anymore, and Bonnie tells us about a gal who was so smart she was kicked out of school. Explore outer space with astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin. 

Show Notes & Extras

  • Gal Pals this month are Bonnie Fillenwarth, Katie Harris, Amy Dalton and Leah Leach
  • Bonnie used a public restroom
  • Katie brought a mountain cookie
  • “Nobody knows how to pee in public anymore!” Amy
  • Tent Time!
  • Amy’s fab library is the Johnson County Public Library
  • Why Gal’s Guide has a compass for a logo
  • Bonnie’s shirt (picture below)
  • Bonnie’s 1 Cool Explorer Gal is Cecilia Payne
  • Cecilia’s early life
  • Father found dead
  • Cecilia’s love of plants and sceince
  • “Why wasn’t Jesus a woman?” asked Cecilia
  • St. Mary’s School
  • Bullied for being so smart
  • Wanted to learn more things
  • Expelled for basically learning too much
  • Now to St. Paul’s
  • “A girl of unusual promise” said a nun at St. Mary’s about Cecilia
  • “She’s very smart but she can’t stay here” is how Bonnie puts it
  • Cecilia’s music teacher was Gustav Holst who is the composer of “The Planets”
  • Cecilia was 5′ 10″
  • She won a scholarship to Newnham College (female version of Cambridge)
  • Wasn’t allowed to be alone with men in canoes
  • Little Mermaid tangent
  • Escaped to a lecture
  • Microagressions
  • Lady sciences
  • “Tit” Degree
  • Met Harlow Shapley who worked at Harvard
  • 1923 She left for America
  • Annie Jump Cannon was still at the Harvard Computers Lab
  • Cecilia worked at Henrietta Swan Leavitt’s desk
  • First woman to get a PHD in astronomy from Radcliff
  • Her research on hydrogen and helium in stars
  • Under the radar teaching for a while
  • Astronomy conference she met Sergei Gaposchkin
  • They married and had 3 kids
  • Kids came to work with them
  • Sergei was kinda a pain in the ass
  • Awards
  • Cecilia died in 1979 of lung cancer
  • Book Bonnie recommends is What Stars Are Made of by Donovan Moore (Bonnie’s review)


About The Gal’s Guide Podcast

What if you could only share 1 cool thing about a topic? Would it be about ancient history? Would it be breaking news? Would it be safe for work? A group of gals gathers to present to you one cool thing on topics like painting, gaming, movies, music and more.

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