Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

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Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Del » Sun May 27, 2012 7:01 pm

Its the birthday of Ruby Payne-Scott and I think she was so fabulous I am sharing it with you all.

RubyPayneScott.jpg


The secret life of Miss Ruby Payne-Scott – 12 March 2009
How times have changed . . . to mark Women’s History Month, the National Archives has uncovered previously secret ASIO files which shed light on the extraordinary career, cut short by pregnancy and forced retirement, of pioneer radio physicist and outspoken advocate for women’s rights Ruby Payne-Scott (1912–81).

Payne-Scott became one of Australia’s first paid female physicists when she was hired by the Radiophysics Laboratory of the then Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at the University of Sydney in 1941. She was part of an Australian team that developed a means of measuring radio emissions from the sun, a breakthrough which would lead to the construction of sophisticated radio telescopes.

Payne-Scott was passionate about the independence of scientific research. She was also an alleged member of the Communist Party of Australia. This brought her to the attention of ASIO. Scott-Payne’s ASIO file – the Archives’ Find of the Month for March – indicates that she was of interest from 1948 to 1959.

In an ASIO report dated March 1959, an informant, whose name has been withheld, incorrectly alleged that she was dismissed from what is now the CSIRO, ‘for failing to give notification of her marriage’. Until November 1966, the Australian Public Service required married women to resign. For this reason Payne-Scott hid her marriage and when her six-year secret was exposed in 1950, she was retired but immediately reinstated by CSIRO on a temporary basis.

In July 1951, with the birth of her first child imminent, Payne-Scott was obliged to resign. Her daughter is artist Fiona Hall and her son mathematician Professor Peter Hall.

A biography of Payne-Scott is finally being written – Under the Radar : Ruby Payne-Scott, the first Woman Radio Astronomer by Professor Miller Goss and Dr Richard McGee – to be launched in Australia in November 2009.


As a government worker she was not allowed to be married (she did, they only discovered because she started to show in pregnancy), she was not allowed to get equal pay (she did.. secretly), she was not allowed to smoke because she was a woman (she would walk into disciplinary hearings about her smoking smoking!) she wore trousers (because as she so plainly explained she had to climb towers, etc.. well they had never had a woman as a physicist before), she worked on top secret radar work and developed several tweaks to it that changed the war (and she was a registered Communist).


You can read about her here in depth..... Read the comments she made when confronted with the laws and wisdom of attitudes towards women in her age... :lol: :lol: :lol: Why can I hear Dotsie's voice when I read that?

http://www.csiropedia.csiro.au/display/ ... cott,+Ruby
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Tonyblack » Sun May 27, 2012 11:11 pm

Sounds like quite a woman! Happy Birthday to her. :D
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Conforumist » Sun May 27, 2012 11:32 pm

Sounds like quite a lady. A very posthumous birthday to her!
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Quatermass » Mon May 28, 2012 6:25 am

I was wondering why Google was showing her on the front page. I thought, 'who she?' A pity. Sounds like a real pioneer. :)
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby wicked woman » Mon May 28, 2012 7:24 am

Interesting lady.

Thanks for that del.
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Penfold » Mon May 28, 2012 9:48 am

Thank you for posting that Del. :D
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Dotsie » Mon May 28, 2012 10:55 am

Hurrah for Ruby! :D Women in astronomy always seemed to be particularly shabbily treated, but maybe that's because in a lot of branches of science they didn't get to do anything at all.

I'm particularly flattered that you heard my voice in there, del! :D
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Del » Mon May 28, 2012 11:19 am

It was more some of the comments in the link Dotsie...

the head of the Division then, wrote a kind of memorandum on Ruby as a probationary employee saying:

Well, she's a bit loud and we don't think she's quite what we want and she may be a bit unstable, but we'll let her continue and see how she works out.


Thanks for your inquiries on my behalf, but when I spoke to you about my marriage I was in effect asking you whether the Executive realises that the customary demoting of women officers on their marriage to the status of 'temporaries' does not appear to be required in the Act and whether the Executive agrees with the procedure or not ... All the married women research officers I have met feel that their classification as 'temporary' puts them at a considerable psychological disadvantage in their work... Personally I feel no legal or moral obligation to have taken any other action than I have in making my marriage known.

She then stated that she never tried to keep her marriage secret and the letter ends with:

I told you my story, not in order to implicate you in anyway, but to demonstrate that the present procedure is ridiculous and can lead to ridiculous results.


And it wasn't just unequal pay, trivial restrictions abounded. One was the edict that women were not allowed to smoke, the men could smoke but the women could not. When this came up for discussion, Ruby apparently went into the interview smoking a cigarette just to show that this was nonsense and completely unfair.

Another was the dress code. The women were told that, unlike the men, they were not allowed to wear shorts but were expected to wear a skirt. When brought in for an interview, Ruby said:

Well, this is absurd. We're climbing up on ladders, up on aerials every day. I'm not going up on a ladder with a skirt on. The shorts are much better attire for us.
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby ChristianBecker » Mon May 28, 2012 11:20 am

Happy Birthday!
Never heard of her before. What a shame.
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Dotsie » Mon May 28, 2012 12:08 pm

Del wrote:It was more some of the comments in the link Dotsie...

I know, and I'm still flattered :P
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Catch-up » Mon May 28, 2012 12:30 pm

I have a new hero! Happy Birthday Ruby!
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon May 28, 2012 4:03 pm

ImageImage Happy Birthday Ruby ImageImage
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby Big Aggie » Mon May 28, 2012 5:57 pm

Happy Birthday Ruby :)
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby author3 » Mon May 28, 2012 6:57 pm

Happy Birthday
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Re: Happy Birthday Ruby Payne-Scott

Postby ShadowNinjaCat » Mon May 28, 2012 8:38 pm

Happy belated birthday to her. :)
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