Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world without a cell phone, computer or internet? Well, the story would be completely different. But beyond that, have you ever stopped to think about the people who helped build the world as we know it today? To commemorate LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, we have prepared a list of six personalities who changed the direction of science. Check out:
1. Alan Turing
Perhaps one of the most famous names on the list is scientist Alan Turing, who was best known for his biopic The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Turing was one of the main people responsible for the invention of the computer and for the defeat of Germany in World War II. The scientist developed a machine capable of identifying the codes of German cryptography, a factor that guaranteed an advantage for the Allies.
At the end of the war, Turing developed a data storage machine, which resulted in Manchester 1, considered the first computer in the world. In 1952, the “father of modern computing”, as he is known, was arrested for “indecency” – when homosexuality was still a crime in England – and sentenced to chemical castration. Two years later, the scientist died of drug intoxication and hormonal injections.
2. Alan Hart
Alan Hart was a physician, radiologist, writer and one of the most important names in research against tuberculosis in the 20th century, being the first to use x-ray photos to detect the disease. In addition, Hart was a transgender male and was the first to have documented sex transition surgery in the United States.
3. Lynn Ann Conway
Lynn Ann Conway is a computer scientist and is known for developing the VLSI (Very-Large-Scale Integration) technology, which revolutionized the field of computing. In addition, Conway worked at IBM in the 1960s and was responsible for inventing a mechanism that improved the performance of computer processors.
Even with the recognition, she was fired from her job and lost custody of her children after revealing that she planned to make the gender transition in 1968. Today, Conway is one of the biggest trans rights activists.
4. Leonardo da Vinci
In addition to the artistic area, Leonardo da Vinci was also a scholar in several other areas. Da Vinci was the first person to draft prototypes of machine guns, helicopters, battle tanks, solar energy, calculators, parachutes and even diving suits. Several biographies, based on historical records and personal writings, describe Da Vinci as a homosexual.
5. Francis Bacon
The Briton Francis Bacon was a politician, philosopher, scientist and was known for being one of the main names of the scientific revolution. Bacon pioneered the scientific method, advocating experimentation – or empirical knowledge – rather than classical purely speculative science. Letters exchanged between the scientist and his mother indicated that the thinker was homosexual.
6. Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale is known for changing the medical system to the format we know today. Nightingale was head and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, organizing care for wounded soldiers. Realizing that hospital infections killed more than battles, the nurse created the Florence Nightingale Diagram, or rose diagram. The nurse interacted with other women openly.
So, do you know more LGBTQIA+ personalities who changed the direction of science? Tell us in the comments!