Dorothy Hodgkin

3 Oct, 2019 540 Chemistry

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the work and ideas of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-1994), awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964 for revealing the structures of vitamin B12 and penicillin and who later determined the structure of insulin. She was one of the pioneers of X-ray crystallography and described by a colleague as ‘a crystallographers’ crystallographer’. She remains the only British woman to have won a Nobel in science, yet rejected the idea that she was a role model for other women, or that her career was held back because she was a woman. She was also the first woman since Florence Nightingale to receive the Order of Merit, and was given the Lenin Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts to bring together scientists from the East and West in pursuit of nuclear disarmament.

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  • Georgina Ferry No other episodes
    Science writer and biographer of Dorothy Hodgkin
  • Judith Howard 3 episodes
    Professor of Chemistry at Durham University
  • Patricia Fara 17 episodes
    Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge

Reading list

  • Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin, O.M. 12 May 1910--29 July 1994
    Guy Dodson (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 2002)
  • A Lab of One's Own: Science and Suffrage in World War I
    Patricia Fara (Oxford University Press, 2019)
  • Scientists Anonymous: Great Stories of Women in Science
    Patricia Fara (Icon Books, 2007) Google Books →
  • Pandora's Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment
    Patricia Fara (Pimlico, 2004) Google Books →
  • Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life
    Georgina Ferry (first published 1998; revised edition Bloomsbury, 2019) Google Books →
  • The Collected Works of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
    Dorothy Hodgkin (Indian Academy of Science, 1994) Google Books →
  • Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries
    Sharon Bertsch McGrayne (first published 1993; Henry Joseph Press, 2001) Google Books →

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1964, Dorothy Hodgkin became the first British woman to win a Nobel Prize in science and so far the only one.