• Question: Do you have any female inspiritations/ role models?

    Asked by nhannan to Akram, David, Gill, Jack, laurenceharwood on 20 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Gill Menzies

      Gill Menzies answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      There are some truly inspirational woman leaders of yesteryear – they stand out because they were not only amazing scientists and innovators, but they had to fight against the culture of their time to be “allowed” to practice and have influence in what was a very male domainated society – examples include Elizabeth Anderson -the first woman to complete medical qualifying exams in Britain, the first woman physician and the first woman in England to be elected as mayor. Marie Curie was a Polish physicist and chemist famous for research in radioactivity. She was the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes and she was the first female professor at the University of Paris. Women no longer have to battle to be allowed to work – my mother always encouraged me to do what interested me, and to do my best. Sound advice I think 🙂

    • Photo: Akram Alomainy

      Akram Alomainy answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      I totally agree with Gill … For me Marie Curie stands out for being an a great scientist and activist who devoted her time to help in building a better environment for all humanities to live in not only women!! IN the time she was busy in building her community while she was coming up with amazing inventions and solutions, other scientists (without naming them since they also have contributed to our lives today!!) claimed her success to be theirs … However, she kept on going and her name still on top of the list for great scientists!!

      Read more about her here … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie

    • Photo: Jack Snape

      Jack Snape answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      I think Jocelyn Bell Burnell is very inspirational 🙂


      She is still working today and was president of the Institute of Physics until 2010. She is famous because she worked on a very exciting area of astro-physics called ‘Pulsars’ that won the Nobel prize for physics in 1974. Although she made the discovery, her male colleagues were awarded the prize, despite it being her that realised the significance of the work. Sexism was a lot more common in the 1970s and this was a terrible failure to recognise the contribution she made. Although this must have been very frustrating for her, she continued to do excellent work in her area of astrophysics. It is now accepted by the physics community the the Nobel prize should have been given to her.

      I choose her because she carried on working in the face of very tough discrimination and is now very well respected 🙂

    • Photo: Laurence Harwood

      Laurence Harwood answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      There are several inspiring women chemists – Dorothy Hodgkin was part of the team that discovered the double helix structure of DNA and Marie Curie worked on radioactivity and discovered radium. I find my partner pretty inspiring – she is a great scientist. She is the coordinator for the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies at Bath University. Look her up (as well as evrybody else) at: