12 December 2014, 12.00pm-1.30pm, Room GLT3, Warwick Medical School, Medical School Building
SCIENCE & SUFFRAGE
Women at War
One approach towards plugging modern leaky pipelines is to expose the prejudices we have inherited from the past. World War I is often said to have benefitted British women by giving them the vote and by enabling them to take on traditionally male roles in science, engineering and medicine. In reality, conventional hierarchies were rapidly re-established after the Armistice. Concentrating mainly on a small group of well-qualified scientific and medical women, marginalized at the time and also in the secondary literature, I review the attitudes they experienced and the work they undertook during and immediately after the War.
Patricia Fara has an Oxford degree in physics, but she now teaches in the History and Philosophy of Science department at Cambridge. Her major research area is eighteenth-century England, but she also writes and lectures on topics related to women in science. A regular contributor to popular journals, she has appeared on radio programmes such as In our Time as well as TV documentaries – most recently, on Isaac Newton and on Marie Curie. She has published a range of academic and popular books on the history of science, including Newton: The Making of Genius (2002), Sex, Botany and Empire (2003) and Science: A Four Thousand Year History (2009), which is being translated into nine languages and was awarded the Dingle Prize by the British Society for the History of Science. Her most recent book is Erasmus Darwin: Sex, Science and Serendipity (2012); the two most relevant to this talk are Pandora's Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment (2004) and a shorter survey designed for teenagers – Scientists Anonymous: Great Stories of Women in Science (2005).