Women of science: worthy of note

Post banknotegate, the row about the absence of women on Bank of England notes, about which Anna Jenkin has a different take, highlighting the limits of a focus on individuals in
, I came across some interesting blog posts about women in science. In one, Vanessa Heggie chronicles the extraordinary career of Dr Ida H Hyde, inventor of both the
micro-electrode and an octopus restraint system. Of course.

Athene Donald writes about why research into the economic case for diversity in the scientific workforce is important, whatever the answers it produces. Kathleen Raven asked herself whether the “female question” should be ignored, sidestepped or confronted, while listening to Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath describe how antibiotics affect ribosomal function (ribosomes are the essential but tiny cell machines that manufacture proteins). Addressing the imbalance may mean using quotas for conference speakers, even if they over-represent the number of women in science, for now, says Natalie Cooper. Next year, the Royal Society is holding an
international conference on women in science, from 1830 to 2000
, which will look at whether the focus on a few exceptional women has concealed a  more complex picture. It surely has, but perhaps the stories of the outstanding heroines, whose achievements were so striking they could not be ignored, needed to be heard first.


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