Earlier this year, General Electric asked a brilliant question: What if scientist Mildred Dresselhaus was treated like a celebrity? The idea, aired as a TV commercial, had many of us smiling at the possibility. In the ad, fans stop the nanoscience pioneer in the street to take selfies, a young girl receives a Dresselhaus doll as a birthday gift and a student sends a Millie emoji after acing a physics exam. The ad debuted in February during the Academy Awards telecast, just weeks before Dresselhaus passed away at age 86.
She lived an accomplished life. It’s nice to know the public got to hear about her, even if so late in her life. In reality, few women or, for that matter, men in science are well known outside of their own research circles — and certainly not well enough to appear on billboards or celebrity talk shows.
In the spirit of introducing the world to more innovators, and doing it early in