However, this perspective is untrue: the allure of chemistry has attracted women since the earliest times.
Despite the barriers placed in their path, women studied academic chemistry from the s onwards and made interesting or significant contributions to their fields, yet they are virtually absent from historical records. Comprising a unique set of biographies of of the known women chemists from to , this work attempts to address the imbalance by showcasing the determination of these women to survive and flourish in an environment dominated by men.
Individual biographical accounts interspersed with contemporary quotes describe how women overcame the barriers of secondary and tertiary education, and of admission to professional societies.
Although these women are lost to historical records, they are brought together here for the first time to show that a vibrant culture of female chemists did indeed exist in Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Marelene Rayner-Canham. The Rayner-Canham's are senior authors and editors of a more broader overview of the role of women in the study of early radioactivity A Devotion to Their Science: Pioneer Women of Radioactivity which they followed with a history of women in chemistry, Women in Chemistry: From Alchemy to the Mid-Twentieth Century.
Their current research is focussing on the pioneering British women chemists, and they have written an overview on the topic, Chemistry was Their Life: Pioneering British Women Chemists, Books M. Rayner-Canham and G.
Chemistry Was Their Life: Pioneering British Women Chemists, 1880-1949
Publication supported by a grant from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities. Selected Publications M.
Rayner-Canham, Bulletin for the History of Chemistry , 23 , Rayner-Canham and M. Courses Taught.
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