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From medieval times to the modern day, female mathematicians, real and fictional, have been represented in a variety of ways, both in pictures and in words. These depictions allow us to learn about the women portrayed and about the attitudes towards them prevailing at the time. 

Professor June Barrow-Green, winner of the 2021 Wilkins-Bernal Medawar Medal, joins us to explore this as well as the deeper questions, like what effect do these moments captured in time have on modern-day viewers and readers? How did these representations shape the types of mathematical knowledge women were able to claim? Do they continue to marginalise the mathematical expertise of women? And how can they be used to encourage the participation of women in the mathematical community today?  

This event is the 2021 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Prize Lecture, which is awarded to recognise excellence in a subject relating to the history of science, philosophy of science or the social function of science. Professor June Barrow-Green was given the award for her research in 19th and 20th century mathematics, notably on historical roots of modern computing, dynamical systems and the three-body problem. Her work places special emphasis on the under-representation of women in historical narratives and in contemporary mathematics. Her recent work includes diversifying the mathematical curriculum.


Attending the event

  • The event is free to join and there is no registration required.
  • Live subtitles will be available.


Attending in person


Attending online

  • The lecture will also be livestreamed here and on the Royal Society YouTube channel 
  • You can take part in the live Q&A. Details to follow shortly.
  • This event will be recorded (including the live Q&A) and the recording will be available on YouTube soon after the event. 


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