Cathy’s pick of the four most bril­liant women

Woman & Home - - Straight-Talking Woman - w&h

1 Beatrice Shilling

after learn­ing about me­chan­ics by tak­ing apart mo­tor­bikes in her gar­den, beatrice fixed a fa­tal flaw in the spit­fire en­gine dur­ing WWII – with­out her, we may not have won the bat­tle of britain. Why on earth isn’t she a house­hold name?

2 noor in­ayat Khan

a british mus­lim de­scended from In­dian roy­alty, her story could be out of the pages of a John le Carré novel. noor worked as a spy for britain dur­ing the se­cond World War, was killed by the ger­mans, and was posthu­mously awarded the ge­orge Cross.

3 Dina St John­ston

a pi­o­neer of a still male-dom­i­nated world – dina founded britain’s first com­puter soft­ware house in 1959. she de­vel­oped the first real-time cus­tomer in­for­ma­tion sys­tems for rail­ways and air­ports, mak­ing his­tory in her field.

4 Jo­ce­lyn Bell Bur­nell

We’ve all heard of stephen Hawk­ing and his amaz­ing work on black holes, but Jo­ce­lyn is the astro­physi­cist who dis­cov­ered pulsars, which are ro­tat­ing stars. With­out her we wouldn’t have had the sub­se­quent ground­break­ing dis­cov­er­ies of black holes.

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