The role of women in geological higher education – Bedford College, London (Catherine Raisin) and Newnham College, Cambridge, UK
C. V. Burek, 2007. "The role of women in geological higher education – Bedford College, London (Catherine Raisin) and Newnham College, Cambridge, UK", The Role of Women in the History of Geology, C. V. Burek, B. Higgs
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This paper explores the place of geology within science education and the part women have played in geological higher education through history. The context is set firstly by exploring the informal role women have played in education in general and secondly by examining in detail the positions they held after 1870, when female higher education was put on to a more formal footing. To illustrate this, the evolution of two female colleges of higher education, Bedford College, London, and Newnham College, Cambridge, both offering geological education within science, are evaluated within a wider educational context. Finally, the cases of Dr Catherine Raisin, who was based at Bedford College, and Dr Gertrude Elles, based at Newnham College as role models are highlighted within this wider framework. This is supported by examining the student experience offered at these institutions through the formal laboratory and lecture provision and also informally by societies, specifically the Sedgwick Club in Cambridge and the Natural History Society at Bedford College, which were both supported strongly by the aforementioned female role models. Some other key figures, both students and staff, are also examined and an analysis of student destinations from both institutions during the late 19th and early 20th centuries are tabulated. The place of women firstly within science education and then specifically within geological education forms the context of this paper. The conclusions develop a portrait of early geological role-model women.
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Where were the women in Geology? This book is a first as it unravels the diverse roles women have played in the history and development of geology as a science predominantly in the UK, Ireland and Australia, and selectively in Germany, Russia and US. The volume covers the period from the late eighteenth century to the present day and shows how the roles that women have played changed with time. These included illustrators, museum collectors and curators, educationalists, researchers and geologists. Originally as wives, sisters or mothers many were assistants to their male relatives. This book looks at all these forgotten women and for the first time historians and scientists together explore the contribution they made to this male-dominated subject. There are individual profiles on remarkable women: Catherine Raisin, Dorothea Bate, Cuvier's daughters, Grace Prestwich, Annie Greenly, Nancy Kirk, Margaret Crosfield, Ethel Skeat, Maria Ogivlie Gordon, Marie Stopes, Anne Phillips, Muriel Arber and Etheldred Bennett. Pulling together this extensive research uncovered common issues and generated emergent themes. The Editors have brought this new research together under these themes and tried to answer the question Where were the women in Geology? They go on to discuss how these role models can be applicable to today's society.