Early Women Biochemists Exhibitions
Convened by Professor Robert Freedman (Life Sciences), Dr Stephen Soanes (Warwick CHM), Professor Hilary Marland (Warwick CHM)
The Early Women Biochemists Exhibition casts a spotlight on the careers of the initial wave of female scientific researchers. Amongst the themes at the heart of Early Women Biochemists are: education, class and funding opportunities; professional networks and mentorship; the gendered experience of marriage and scientific collaboration; and the extent of equality of opportunity before 1939.
It focuses particularly on four prominent biochemists – Harriette Chick, Ida Smedley, Muriel Wheldale and Marjory Stephenson. These women were amongst the very first to obtain scholarships, professional memberships and university appointments. Their lives reflect women’s entry into the hitherto male-dominated laboratory.
Amongst the key sites in the stories of these women are King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham; Cambridge University; and the Lister Institute in London. Each of these locations offered particularly open access to women researchers from the 1880- 1900s – this display finds out why.
Funding for the project came primarily through the Biochemical Society and we thank them for their kind contribution, with additional support through the University of Warwick’s Centre for the History of Medicine (funded by the Wellcome Trust). A website is currently under development and it is anticipated this will be made live in late May http://www.warwick.ac.uk/go/womenbiochem – so please do watch this space!
The exhibition was first shown as part of the Biochemical Society’s Centenary Celebration at the Royal Society, 15-16 December 2011. It is now available for display and is being shown at Warwick, first at the School of Life Sciences (14-17 May 2012) and then at the Modern Records Centre (28 May -1 Jun 2012).
We do hope you are able to visit this fascinating exhibition.