Ada Lovelace picToday is Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and maths! In order to mark this occasion we have a short quiz for you all – just for fun!

We are offering up the chance to win an iPod nano for those who get all of the answers correct. In order to enter, all you need to do is tweet @digitalsci saying you have all the answers (include the #adaquiz hashtag). Then make sure you follow us, as we’ll need to be able to direct message a randomly selected entrant to confirm their answers!

Good luck!
1. Several elements have been named after scientists – but of these which are the only two to have been named after women?

2. Which British scientist, now a baroness, was the first woman to deliver the Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures, and was also the last Director of the Royal Institution before the post was abolished in 1998?

3. Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of which large internet company?

4. What was the name of Marie Curie’s daughter, herself a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, winning the 1935 prize for chemistry for the discovery of artificial radioactivity (and thus making the Curies the family with the most Nobel prizes as of 2014)?

5. Which 19th century mathematician, the daughter of the poet Lord Byron, is today often called the world’s first computer programmer as a result of her work on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine?

6. Which British biochemist won the 1964 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her pioneering work in X-ray crystallography?

7. What important molecule is depicted in so-called ‘Photo 51’ , an X-ray diffraction image produced by the lab of Rosalind Franklin, and which proved crucial in one of the major scientific discoveries of the 20th century?

8. Marjory Stephenson and Kathleen Lonsdale were the first two women to be elected as fellows to which learned body?

9. Although she wasn’t given full credit for her achievements in her lifetime, astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin is best remembered today for her achievements in deducing the chemical composition of which objects?

10. Which American computer scientist helped develop COBOL, popularised the term “debugging” after she removed a moth from her computer, and once said “it’s easier to ask forgiveness later than it is to get permission”?


Quiz produced by Chris Clough.