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12 May 2012

Women in Science

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin – born on this day in 1910 – is the only British woman to ever win a Nobel Prize in science. She was an expert X-ray crystallographer, who deduced the structure of vitamin B12, penicillin and the protein hormone, insulin. When Dorothy was admitted to study at the University of Oxford they were then imposing a quota on women such that they never exceed one in every four students. While this rule no longer applies, and society no longer expects women to give up their jobs to have a family, there are still few women in positions of scientific leadership. This short film introduces a jewellery heirloom scheme for women in science, run jointly by the Medical Research Council and University of the Arts, London. The aim of the scheme is to encourage women to pursue positions of power within the scientific realm.

Written by Brona McVittie

  • Image courtesy of the University of Oxford

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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