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Abstract

During current research being carried out into the role of women in the history of geological study in Ireland, interesting social and cultural factors are emerging. A list of people who contributed to data gathering, and the unravelling of the complexity of Ireland's geology would characteristically contain only male names. Yet when one begins to look more closely, important roles were played by women. The story is one of women carrying out many and varied supporting roles, including stone-workers, illustrators, tutors, assistants, collaborators, wives, mothers, and later, curators, cartographers and technicians. From 1950 onwards, women begin to occupy professional roles as geologists, particularly in the Geological Survey of Ireland, but more slowly in academic circles. This paper concentrates on women now deceased, who paved the way for others, and only briefly indicates their legacy with selected examples leading to the present day.

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