By Agatha French
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In “Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet” Claire L. Evans highlights the women who have often been left out of the history of technology.
Los Angeles Times
Claire L. Evans sang that she “thought the future would be cooler” as frontwoman of the L.A.-based pop band Yacht.
In her first book “Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet” the musician, app developer and journalist looks through time the other way, to history, which could be cooler too.
Women have often been left out of the history of technology. “I want them to be recognized for their contributions,” she says of female pioneers Ada Lovelace (mathematician), Grace Hopper (computer scientist) Stacy Horn (founder of the early social network Echo) and the many others whose endeavors and accomplishments she traces in her book. Stretching from the early 1800s to the 1990s, “Broad Band” covers major booms and movements in technology focusing on the women in the room.
Evans perches on a red chair in her bright Garvanza home, where a record collection shares shelf space with vintage computers; on a mantle to her right a name plate reads “Claire L. Evans Cyberfeminist.”
Reading other tech histories, she says, “I always wondered where the women were.” The prevailing image of the advent of the internet, she says wryly, is “long haired men in the streets of San Francisco talking about tomorrow;” Evans describes her early research for “Broad Band” as “zeroing in on the one female name that’s in the footnotes and being like, ‘who’s this?'”
The history of science has long been relevant to Evans’ work; she was a science and tech columnist for the now-defunct Los Angeles Alternative and futures editor of Vice’s tech-website Motherboard.