As if 2016 wasn’t rough enough, this year seems determined to take some of our brightest minds and most iconic talents before its end.
Now, we say goodbye to Vera Rubin, the scientist who confirmed dark matter. Rubin, who died at 88, was both a force within the world of science and an advocate for women’s rights. As reported by NPR, dark matter was technically discovered by a Swiss astrophysicist named Fritz Zwicky in the 1930s, but Rubin was the one who confirmed its existence and left science forever changed.
As if that wasn’t incredible enough, Vera Rubin was also in a field that, surprise surprise, was overwhelmingly filled with men. Her very presence in the sciences was important because, well, it’s hard to argue that women can’t be scientists when one makes such a tremendous discovery.
Many noted her brilliance, her kindness, and her importance.
Vera Rubin was a magnificent presence in my life. A tremendous scientist. A generous person. By all accounts a thoughtful matriarch.— Dr. Chanda (@IBJIYONGI) December 26, 2016
Rubin once explained her thoughts on sexism in the sciences, saying,
“I live and work with three basic assumptions. 1). There is no problem in science that can be solved by a man that cannot be solved by a woman. 2.) Worldwide, half of all brains are in women. 3.) We all need permission to do science, but, for reasons that are deeply ingrained in history, this permission is more often given to men than to women.”
Rubin was a world famous astronomer, a game-changer, and a respected scientist and person. We remain in awe of incredible women like her, and thank her for everything she did to help us better understand the world around us.
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