Women Showing the Way


    There are so many women in history who have fought for equality for children and women in society. A fight that still goes on and as to how long the fight will go on there is definitely no answer in sight. The old phrase, “How long is a piece of string?” comes to mind.

    All advocates for the under-represented can do is keep fighting and take lead from those in the past who did just that.

    There are three women all born in the 19th century who I think are great examples of women showing the way in science, a field in which women are still inadequately represented and I want to tell you about them today.

    First up, is Dame Maria Gordon 1864-1939 a Scottish geologist born in Aberdeenshire was the first woman to receive a Dr of Science from the University of London and the first woman to be awarded a PhD from the University of Munich. She is noted for the work she did in the Dolomites, North-eastern Italy which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. If trekking the Alps wasn’t enough she was also a mother and a campaigner for equality for children and women.

    The second woman is also a Scot and her name is, Williamina Fleming 1857-1911. Williamina an astrologer discovered the Horsehead Nebula in the constellation Orion in the late 19th century. She promoted women in science on both sides of the Atlantic and gave a talk at 1893, World Fair, in Chicago on, “A Field for Woman’s Work in Astronomy.”

    Last but not least, is a British physician, Elizabeth Blackwell, 1821-1910. Elizabeth was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the US and was the first woman on the Medical Register of the General Medical Council. Like the women I have mentioned previously in the post, Elizabeth actively supported women in science and promoted women in medicine in the USA.