katieboumanfacebookmain resize md - Scientists who aided I  taking the first picture of a black hole have been receiving some harassment online
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Scientists who aided I taking the first picture of a black hole have been receiving some harassment online

So everyone of us who are into science must have at some point wanted to see what this talked about black hole was actually like.

katieboumanfacebookmain resize md 293943879 - Scientists who aided I  taking the first picture of a black hole have been receiving some harassment online

One of the computer scientist who saw the black hole for the first time was one Katie Bouman, who’s look alone describes her surprise and also her excitement.

Bouman was said to have led one of the four teams who were posed on turning data on half a ton of hard drives into a picture. Bouman got some congratulations for her work from her alma mater, MIT.

In a tweet by the MIT, it reads “3 years ago MIT grad student Katie Bouman led the creation of a new algorithm to produce the first-ever image of a black hole. Today, that image was released.”

After journalist Flora Graham compared a pic of bouman with the tons of hard drive used for the project with another image of Margaret Hamilton, the computer scientist whose code played a vital role in the Apollo missions. More congratulations stormed in on Bouman.

But as you would expect, after a few hours of praise and pictures, the internet rained down on her, her phone went crazy with messages coming in from all around. It was too much that she had turn off her phone.

supermassive black hole image katie bouman mit postdoc event horizon telescope1849024445 - Scientists who aided I  taking the first picture of a black hole have been receiving some harassment online

To top it all the next day it was reported that a fake Twitter account has been setup in her name. Bouman decided to respond to the world by writing a Facebook post that reads “No one algorithm or person made this image, it required the amazing talent of a team of scientists from around the globe and years of hard work to develop the instrument, data processing, imaging methods, and analysis techniques that were necessary to pull off this seemingly impossible feat. It has been truly an honor, and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with you all.”

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This isn’t just an online trend. Women in science are cited less than their male colleagues. They have a harder time getting workpublished in notable journals, including the flagships Science and Nature.

They are likely paid less than their peers (a 2013 study found that women working in physics and astronomy were paid 40 percent less than men). And they are more likely to face workplace harassment.

As we all know, the internet can be a very rude, dark and sometimes interesting place sometimes, it all depends on the category you fall in. For Bouman she’s lucky to have fallen in the good part of it.

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Emmanuel
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