Maria Rentetzi: Invisible technicians at the Nuclear Research Center Democritus: Gender and Physics in Post-War Greece

While anonymity is something that especially characterizes male laboratory technicians of the 17th and 18th century, in high energy physics laboratories of the 20th century young women known as scanning girls took up the role of anonymous assistants and technicians. Their job is internationally recognized as a female task that has nothing to do with science but it is simply routine work, a monotonous, unskilled and highly gendered assignment. This paper focuses on the Greek nuclear research center Democritus during the 1950s and 1960s. It emphasizes the role of scanning girls at the center’s group of high energy physics. I argue that the work of those women was crucial and constitutive part of the experiment, much different in comparison to the unappreciative work of scanning girls in the big laboratories of the United States of America.