Plaça de Baix Venue exhibits scientific and technical milestones to commemorate International Day of Women and Girls in Science


13 February 2023

The public is unaware that a female Spanish school teacher invented the first mechanical encyclopedia, a precursor to e-books, and that we may watch films and series over online platforms thanks to a female Polish mathematician. To publicize the contributions from ten outstanding women in the fields of science and technology, and to break gender stereotypes, the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH) has inaugurated the #HicieronHistoria (TheyMadeHistory) exhibition at the Plaça de Baix Venue in the Elche city center. This exhibition is open, Monday thru Friday, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., and will remains so through March 8, International Women’s Day.

Source: UMH.

According to its organizers, the social perception of science remains that of a male scientist or inventor, in a lab coat, and typically working in chemistry, physics, or biology. However, many scientific and technical advances that have shaped the world as we know it today are the result of efforts by women. Some of them, not necessarily in the field of scientific disciplines. This is how the UMH #HicieronHistoria collection shows it, presented in three languages, Spanish, Valencian, and English. Not every exhibition protagonist fits the typical profile that we think of for scientists or investors. Some are school teachers, others nature lovers, or people who — simply — saw something to improve upon and so they went to work.

This proposition features, among others, Jeanne Villepreux-Power (France, 1794-1871), naturist and inventor of the aquarium; Maria E. Beasley (USA, 1874-1904), entrepreneur, who improved upon the life raft; Ángela Ruiz Robles (Spain, 1895-1975), school teacher, inventor of the mechanical encyclopedia; Catia Bastioli (Italy, born 1957), chemist, inventor of biodegradable plastic; and Marta Karczewicz (Poland, born 1970), mathematician, inventor of digital video compression for streaming.

Hosts at the inauguration of this collection included Vice Rector for Student Affairs and Coordination, who oversees the Unit of Scientific Culture & Innovation, Jose Juan López; Deputy Vice Rector for Communication and Coordination, Alicia de Lara; and
Coordinator of Scientific Dissemination, Alba García Ortega.

The Unit of Scientific Culture & Innovation at the UMH, which is part of the Service of Communication, Marketing and Student Services, has put together a series of micro documentaries, entitled #HicieronHistoria (TheyMadeHistory), on contributions by women to science. All chapters may be seen at