Following on from Mary Anning's 215th birthday yesterday, it is important to remember she was not alone. Although 19th and early 20th century science (especially the Earth sciences) appears to be dominated by great men, there was a wealth of great women pushing scientific and social boundaries. As well as Mary Anning being an early inspiration to my childhood fossil obsession, I remember coming across Marie Stopes. However, it was much later at university that I learnt how remarkable she really was. Howard Falcon-Lang gave a riveting lecture on her contributions to the study of plant fossils and coal geology. If you have never heard of Marie Stopes, look her up now! If you know her for the contributions she made to women's rights and birth control, take some time to discover her contributions to geology.
Today is the Royal Society's "Revealing lives: women in science" conference (https://royalsociety.org/events/2014/revealing-lives/?utm_source=social_media&utm_medium=hootsuite&utm_campaign=standard). Whilst some scientists will enter the history books, many of us will only be remembered by a handful or a niche community. Today's conference looks to examine women's participation in science in general
Marie Carmichael Stopes knew a thing or two about smut. In later life she was unfairly accused of writing it- but before that, she studied the ancient, sooty kind: coal.