Chemsitry Was Their Life: Pioneer British Women Chemists, by Geoff Rayner-Canham

By Geoff Rayner-Canham

British chemistry has usually been depicted as a completely male exercise. although, this angle is unfaithful: the attract of chemistry has attracted ladies because the earliest occasions. regardless of the boundaries positioned of their course, girls studied educational chemistry from the Eighties onwards and made fascinating or major contributions to their fields, but they're nearly absent from ancient records.Comprising a special set of biographies of a hundred of the 900 recognized ladies chemists from 1880 to 1949, this paintings makes an attempt to handle the imbalance through showcasing the decision of those ladies to outlive and flourish in an atmosphere ruled via males. person biographical money owed interspersed with modern costs describe how girls overcame the limitations of secondary and tertiary schooling, and of admission to specialist societies. even supposing those ladies are misplaced to old documents, they're introduced jointly right here for the 1st time to teach bright tradition of girl chemists did certainly exist in Britain through the past due nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Yet to these women students of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the slights and insults were a small price to pay for the excitement of being in the first assault on the bastions of learning: to be in those “hallowed halls,” where studying philosophy or physics was a joy, an end in itself. By our standards, the activities of women students were severely circumscribed by the university rules, such as the need for chaperones. However, compared to the societal restrictions at home, universities were a haven of freedom for women.

21 She was Head until 1918, dying in 1922 after becoming lost on a mountaineering holiday in the Alps. Buss’ father, Robert, had taught the science classes in the early years, with the first qualified science teacher, Grace Heath,22 being hired in 1888. qxd 9/8/2008 9:37 AM Page 17 Getting an Education 17 student with Henry Armstrong (see Chap. 2) at the Central Technical College. Unfortunately, Heath died in 1895, her position passing to Rose Stern (see Chap. 2). Stern ensured that chemistry was a prominent subject at NLCS.

Sc. graduate of the University of London. It was not only the GPDSC schools that excelled in science. Malvern Girls’ College (also three students in our study) was another school proud of its science programme, as a former student, Grace Phillips, described in her biography of the Headmistress of the time, Iris Brooks: Miss Brook’s knowledge of Science almost equalled the vacuity of her information about Physiology and Mathematics. Nevertheless, she admired wholeheartedly the work of the Science Staff.

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