Women’s History Month

Programs recognize the accomplishments of women

Join KET as we celebrate the accomplishments of women during the Women’s History Month, commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in history.

Ada Lovelace was a Victorian-era English mathematician and writer, known for her collaboration on the theoretical “analytical engine,” conceived of by Charles Babbage.

Interestingly, Ada was the only daughter of the poet Lord Byron and held the title of Countess of Lovelace when her husband was named Earl of Lovelace.

Celebrity cred aside, Ada was recognized as a math whiz as a teenager, and she began working with Babbage, who became known as “the father of computers.” She translated a short article on the analytical engine into Italian, adding her own elaborate set of notes — which today are recognized as the first computer program; that is, an algorithm meant to be completed by the machine.

Dr. Hannah Fry and a portrait of Lovelace

Ada died of cancer at the age of 36 and the analytic engine remained only a vision, until Ada’s notes became one of the documents that inspired Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s.

Join Dr. Hannah Fry, who tells the story of Ada’s short yet remarkable life in this program, from her early academic prowess to her famed collaborations with Charles Babbage.

Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing

KET Tuesday, March 21 at 8/7 pm
KET2 Sunday, March 26 at 8/7 pm


Beloved Berkeley brainiac: Dr. Marian Diamond

For nearly 55 years, until her retirement in 2014, Marian Diamond would often be seen walking through campus to her anatomy class carrying a flowered hat box, within which nestled a real, pickled human brain. Gently lifting it from its wrapping, she would display it to her Berkeley classes and express her awe that such a small, three-pound mass of protoplasm was the most complex structure known to humankind.

Now 90, the neuroscientist who demonstrated that an enriched environment builds better brains — and who helped establish the now-accepted idea that the brain changes throughout our lifetimes and that we need to continually “use it or lose it” — is featured in a new documentary about her life.

The scientist who conducted the first scientific analysis of Albert Einstein’s brain was a beloved fixture at Berkeley whose lectures which often ended in applause. She earned many teaching awards, and her research on the brain inspired many others. Her YouTube videos — among the most popular courses on the Internet worldwide — inspired the creation of the documentary.

“I was absolutely mesmerized by her teaching, she was so energizing,” said producer/director Catherine Ryan. “She is a beloved professor and a worthy role model, especially for women and girls in science.”

My Love Affair with the Brain: The Life & Science of Dr. Marian Diamond

KET Wednesday, March 22 at 10/9 pm
KET2 Sunday, March 26 at 6/5 pm


A powerful sisterhood: Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë

Ever since they were revealed to the world as quaint country women and not the notorious Bell brothers of their pseudonyms, the Brontë sisters have fascinated legions of devoted readers.

Many novels of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are based on women in Victorian England and the difficulties that they faced, like few employment opportunities, dependence on men in the families for support, and social expectations. Their works, now recognized to be early feminist novels, feature protagonists struggling to gain independence and self-reliance.

Join Masterpiece, for a new drama that transports viewers to the picturesque Yorkshire village where the Brontë sisters lived — now a mecca for Brontëphiles from all over the world. Scenes at their parsonage home were shot in an exact replica that recreates the feel of a lived-in mid-19th-century provincial dwelling, with the sisters congregating around the dining table to pen their stories and plot their editorial strategy.

To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters on Masterpiece

KET Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 9/8 pm
KET2 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 9/8 pm

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