The contribution of British women to Carboniferous palaeobotany during the first half of the 20th century
H. E. Fraser, C. J. Cleal, 2007. "The contribution of British women to Carboniferous palaeobotany during the first half of the 20th century", The Role of Women in the History of Geology, C. V. Burek, B. Higgs
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During the first half of the 20th century, over a third of British palaeobotanists working on Carboniferous plants were women; neither before nor after this period have women played such a prominent role in this field. Few of these women were able to develop significant careers within the subject. They nevertheless produced some of the most innovative work in the field, pioneering work in plant phylogeny, cuticle studies, biostratigraphy, morphological variation, and anatomical thin sectioning. Two factors were critical for allowing this work to develop: the support of a small number of male colleagues, notably F. W. Oliver, W. H. Lang and D. H. Scott; and the existence of colleges that specifically supported women's education, including Newnham College (Cambridge), and Bedford, Royal Holloway, Westfield and University Colleges (London).
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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.