Women’s work: Dorothy Hodgkin and the culture and craft of X-ray crystallography

Public history of science lecture by Georgina Ferry

Dorothy Hodgkin Dorothy Hodgkin, by Bryan Organ, 1982

Event details

Georgina Ferry is a science writer and broadcaster, and the author of Dorothy Hodgkin: a life (1998).

The year 2014 is being celebrated as the International Year of Crystallography. A number of successful 20th century women scientists, of whom the Nobel prizewinner Dorothy Hodgkin is perhaps the most prominent, achieved their distinction in this field. While no one has undertaken a rigorous quantitative analysis, it is common to come across statements that X-ray crystallography is particularly welcoming to women, or conversely that it is something women are particularly good at. Does either of these statements stand up? 

Georgina Ferry will explore the social circumstances under which Hodgkin conducted her work on penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin, and will look at the practical and theoretical skills she needed to achieve her results. Did she find an unusually supportive environment in the field, and to what extent did her gender have anything to do with her success?

Enquiries: Contact the events team

Women’s work: Dorothy Hodgkin and the culture and craft of X-ray crystallography 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • The next big thing 29 May 2015 at Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Wales Four Royal Society Research Fellows discuss their work at the forefront of science at the Hay Festival.
  • Stuff matters 31 May 2015 at Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Wales Join award winning author Mark Miodownik at the Hay Festival.
  • Elements, genomes and ecosystems: cascading nitrogen and phosphorus impacts across levels of biological organisation 01 June 2015 at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire Theo Murphy international scientific meeting organised by Professor Andrew Leitch, Professor Maurine Neiman, Professor Dag Hessen, Professor Puni Jeyasingh, Professor Lawrence J. Weider and Dr Ilia Leitch

For more events please see the events diary.

Share this page