Today’s physics news: Ada Lovelace Day celebrates women in science and a planet with four suns is discovered
Finding women in the history of science
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, which has been marked annually since 2009 as a celebration of women in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The Finding Ada website explains that “The aim is to create new role models for girls and women in these male-dominated fields by raising the profile of women in STEM”.
Big Bang and religion mixed in Cern debate
Some of Europe’s most prominent scientists have opened a debate with philosophers and theologians over the origins of everything. The event, in Geneva, Switzerland, is described as a search for “common ground” between religion and science over how the Universe began.
Girls ‘put off’ studying science in mixed-gender schools, says headmistress
The headmistress of a leading all-female school says people should not be surprised that girls are “put off” wanting to study science if they are taught alongside boys. Mrs Rebecca Dougall, head teacher of the independent Royal High School in Bath, said the statistics reported by the Institute of Physics were “shocking but not surprising”.
Planet with four suns discovered by volunteers
Astronomers have found a planet whose skies are illuminated by four different suns – the first known of its type. The distant world orbits one pair of stars which have a second stellar pair revolving around them. The discovery was made by volunteers using the Planethunters.org website along with a team from UK and US institutes; follow-up observations were made with the Keck Observatory.
Pay universities to take poorer students, says social mobility tsar
The government’s social mobility adviser is to call on the coalition to offer extra money to universities for each student they recruit from poor backgrounds, in a report set to reopen the row over the “social engineering” of admissions.