Is there something in the air? Because suddenly — and happily — lots of people are interested in Ireland’s historic women scientists.
There is a film in the making about two women from the mid-1800s: science writer Mary Ward, and early photographer Mary, Countess of Rosse. Ingenious Ireland has been helping SnugBoro Films with the story, and we were filming at lovely Dunsink Observatory yesterday (a big thank you to the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and Hilary O’Donnell for the hospitality).
There is a high-profile project coming soon from Silicon Republic, as part of their year-long #WomenInvent project (watch this space). There’s a possibility of a TV documentary celebrating several women, if funding can be secured. And on Thursday, you can have lunch with one of our modern day science heroes: Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell (see below).
Honouring the women
Our campaign, if we can call it that, began 16 years ago with the publication of ‘Stars, Shells and Bluebells’, a book on the lives and legacies of a dozen historic Irish women in science from the 1600s onwards (currently out of print). We followed that with ‘Lab Coats and Lace‘ in 2009, celebrating nearly 30 more women, and taking the story up to the 20th century.
The two books, which we edited for the Women in Technology & Science network (WITS), celebrate women from the past. But it is also good to recognise people’s achievements while they are still with us — and on Thursday, WITS is doing just that with a special event honouring astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, in Dublin. All are welcome, admission is free, you just need to reserve your place by registering here.