Celebrating Ruby Payne-Scott and the birth of radio astronomy
ABC News Online, 31/10/20
Seventy-five years ago, enterprising physicists erected long pieces of wire in the form of an aerial on the rugged clifftops of Dover Heights in Sydney and in Hobart. It was the start of a new field of physics – radio astronomy. One of those involved was Ruby Payne-Scott. She was a strong advocate for ending discrimination against women. It was just a few decades ago, but it was a completely different world. Men could smoke cigarettes, women could not. Men could wear shorts as they climbed large telescope dishes, women could not. And women had to resign once they were married. Despite the system, Ruby Payne-Scott was a pioneer. She studied the sun and its solar flares and was involved in developing radar to protect Darwin during the Second World War. Today we hear about her amazing career, described in 2018 by The New York Times as a career overlooked.