For every Marie Curie or Rosalind Franklin whose story has been told, hundreds of female scientists remain unknown to the public at large. In this series, we illuminate the lives and work of a diverse array of groundbreaking scientists who, because of time, place and gender, have gone largely unrecognized. Each season we focus on a different scientist, putting her narrative into context, explaining not just the science but also the social and historical conditions in which she lived and worked. We also bring these stories to the present, painting a full picture of how her work endures.
Cecilia Payne was in her early 20s when she figured out what the stars are made of. Both she and her groundbreaking findings were ahead of their time. Continuing the legacy of women working at the Harvard Observatory, Cecilia charted the way for a generation of female astronomers to come. This episode of Lost Women of Science: shorts follows Cecilia’s journey of discovery, journals her drive and determination against all odds, and takes you to the Harvard Observatory itself to walk in Cecilia’s footsteps.