Was the MIT Women’s Lab the first feminist hackerspace? I first learned about Ellen Swallow Richards in Matthew Pearl’s novel “The Technologists,” and it turns out that she was even more amazing than the novel suggests.

Ellen started an early water monitoring program in Massachusetts, collecting 40,000 samples to produce a study that motivated the first state-wide water quality standards in the US and the creation of creation of the first modern municipal sewage system. http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/online-resources/chemistry-in-history/themes/public-and-environmental-health/public-health-and-safety/richards-e.aspx

She also created the field of home economics — building some of the first model kitchens and developing an entire field focused on improving the well-being of women working in the home so they could find more time for wider pursuits.

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Citizen social science to improve digital life & hold tech accountable. Assistant Prof, Cornell. citizensandtech.org Prev: Princeton, MIT. Guatemalan-American

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