University of Dundee

Pioneering local women celebrated in exhibition

10 Mar 2017

HerStory of Science opened at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee on Friday, 3rd March with some of the descendants of those featured in attendance. A series of outdoor posters consider the early history of women's contributions to science from a local perspective. The extraordinary achievements of 10 women  from across the scientific disciplines – from medicine to astronomy to engineering – are featured including Mary Lily Walker, Margaret Fairlie and Williamina Fleming.

Dr Sarah Cook, researcher and Curator of LifeSpace at the University of Dundee said “It took 59 years from the University’s inception in 1881 to appoint the first women professor in Scotland. A few recent projects such as the Women’s Trail and the Discovery Walk, have sought to uncover the stories of women and this project adds to that social history, though we have more to find out and we are glad to say it was difficult to choose who to highlight.”

Dr Morag Martin, co-organiser of the project said “In 2017 we have women scientists who are excelling in areas such as immunology, microbiology, developmental biology, gene regulation and plant sciences. It is important that their achievements and the stories of the trailblazing women before them are visible and inspire the next generation of scientists”.

Professor Inke Nathke, an expert in colorectal cancer and Associate Dean for Professional Culture in Life Sciences at the University of Dundee said, “This institution was created by Mary Ann Baxter to promote education for both sexes. The University of Dundee is committed to gender equality for all, although much still needs to be done. We believe that by celebrating these fantastic women we can help girls enter and stay in a scientific career in part through our highlighting of these strong scientific female role models.

The exhibition runs until Wednesday, 17th September and is available to view for free outside the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee.

The project has been supported by Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund, MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit, Athena SWAN at the School of Life Sciences, LifeSpace Science Art Research Gallery and the University of Dundee Archive Services. 

Photos taken by Andrew Lim of the launch event can be found here >