AdaLovelaceDay09: Marie-Louise von Franz

I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same…

That's how it started a, Suw Charman-Anderson's vision to do something special for Ada Lovelace day has become huge with a sign up rate and more being added still a few days before.

Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers (mother and daughter) created the psychological test better known as the MBTI (Myers Briggs type indicator). Although not exactly in the technology field, this has a profound effect on the technology field and this was also a field run by super intelligent males such as Sigman Freud and Carl Jung. However the lesser known story is Carl Jung had a lab partner called Marie-Louise von Franz. It was Carl Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz's work which Katharine Briggs read and studied then passed on to her daughter Isabel Briggs. Marie-Louise later worked with Carl Jungs friend Barbara Hannah, who Carl Jung actual set up together. She later went on to publish first the mathematical structure of DNA and a series of essays, books and videos. I found out about Marie-Louise by accident while reading Into the Dream by William Sleator which sounded like a film I watched sometime later called The way of the Dream. Marie-Louise's intelligence pushed her forward and although not the only woman drawn to Jung, she was the only one not to have a affair or get mixed up in all that. Instead she worked hard and paved her own way, linking psychology and physics. Before she died she lectured all around the western world and became known for her own thoughts and theories instead of Jung's. Shes not as well as known as than Myers-Briggs but her influence in psychology has been huge, and its great to see hard work pay off.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.