• Headshot of 19th century Ada Lovelace
13 Oct | Women in Science

Ada Lovelace Day 2020: celebrating the achievements of women in STEM

Hot on the heels of the first ever Chemistry Nobel Prize to be awarded to two female scientists, today we celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, and the achievements of women in Science across the globe and throughout history. Ada Lovelace was a Victorian computing visionary - the first computer programmer - long before Alan Turing. Lovelace’s notes on the 'Analytical Engine' became one of the critical documents to inspire Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s

Ada Lovelace

(10 Dec 1815–27 Nov 1852)

Mathematician & computer scientist

‘Ada Lovelace’, as she is best known, was born Ada Gordon in 1815, and was the sole child of the brief and tempestuous marriage between the erratic poet George Gordon, Lord Byron, and his mathematics-loving wife Annabella Milbanke. Raised by her mother, her upbringing rovolved around a strict regimen of science, logic, and mathematics.

At the age of 19 she was married to an aristocrat, William King, who in1838 became Earl of Lovelace - making his wife Lady Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (aka Ada Lovelace). 

Ada met Charles Babbage in 1833 through her mentor, the scientist and polymath Mary Sommerville. Ada was deeply intrigued by his plans for a complicated device he called the Analytical Engine. Although it was never built, the design had all the essential elements of a modern computer.

Ada Lovelace Day 2020

Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

Founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson, Ada Lovelace Day is held every year on the second Tuesday of October. It usually features a whole host of live events and celebrations around the world, including the flagship Ada Lovelace Day Live! ‘science cabaret’ in London (UK). ALD2020, however, has a different look — a Covid-inspired look — returning to its roots with a day of blogging, Twittering and Facebooking — just like the first ALD in 2009. 

However it is celebrated, you can be sure that ALD2020 will raise the profile of women around the world working in STEM, and highlight the hidden advocates — the teachers, lecturers and professors, the researchers and technicians, the women you work with, who work tirelessly to encourage and support girls and women in STEM —  those who work towards changing the future face of STEM.