I have recently started a committee position at OxFEST (Oxford Females in Engineering, Science, and Technology), and this has inspired me to start a new blog series on women in science.
First up- a scientist linked closely to my education, as we both attended Somerville college at Oxford. Somerville was founded as one of the first women’s colleges, and has a history of notable alumni including Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher, and geneticist Kay Davies. Somerville itself was named after the mathematician and computer scientist, Mary Somerville.
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
- Studied Chemistry at Somerville college, and later held the position of research fellow.
- She is the third female Nobel Prize winner, and first and only British woman. She won the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1964, for the development of X-ray crystallography and discovery of the structure of Vitamin B12.
- X-ray crystallography uses diffraction of X-rays to study the atomic and molecular structure of crystals. Many molecules, such as DNA, proteins, and vitamins can be crystalline in structure.
- She also discovered and studied the structures of insulin, penicillin, and pepsin using X-ray crystallography.
- She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1948, and became the Wolfson Research Professor of the Royal Society in 1960.
Hope you enjoyed the first post – Let me know if there are any other people you would like to see featured in this series!
Image from Wikimedia commons
References: “Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin – Biographical”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 13 Sep 2016. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1964/hodgkin-bio.html>