26 February Belief

mary_jackson_working_2

Mary Jackson sitting, adjusting a control on an instrument. Photo: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/mary-jackson-at-nasa-langley-1

 

Coming full circle, but also moving on. My first blog post was written after seeing a film, and completely unintentionally, so is my last.

Growing up I could never really understand why other children would watch films over and over again. This seemed totally alien to me, but there was one film that I could watch repeatedly and every time I would hold my breath, wondering how it was going to end… In fact, if I watch it now, I still do wonder! That film was Apollo 13.

I was reminded of it last night while I was in the cinema watching  Hidden Figures, probably because of the space race element to it. But I also sat there thinking – very rarely for me – I want to watch this again.

Although this time it wasn’t because of the dramatic tension, but because of the inspirational traits of the three main women in it. And how with intelligence, perseverance and humility they helped to shape science and advance human knowledge. Not only that, but they did it at a time when prejudice and sterotyping was an overt and instutitionalised brick wall. They chipped away it until it slowly crumbled. But it also took people who could see beyond colour, race and gender – people who believed in them.

Whilst there are big messages we can take from the film in light of the barriers that are rising in our society today  around crossing borders and #womeninsceince, for me the big message was abut belief: the belief these women had in their own abilities, in each other’s abilities and the belief others had in them.

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