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Women in the History of Natural Sciences conference

June 2017

The Society for the History of Natural History organised a conference about Women in the History of Natural Sciences and so the Mary Gillham Archive Project just had to attend!

Split over two days between the University of Cumbria Ambleside Campus and the Freshwater Biological Association on the shores of Windermere the meeting was an opportunity to recognise the historical contributions of women to the earth and life sciences.

There were wide ranging talks about the role played by women such as Beatrix Potter, Margaret Gatty, Rosemary Lowe-McConnell, Kathleen Carpenter, Katherine Sophia Baily, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, Muriel Robertson and of course Mary Gillham. There were also subject themed talks about women as Natural History Artists and phycologists. Interspersed between these talks was a trip to the Armitt Museum – founded by Mary Louisa Armitt in 1909 and where Beatrix Potter bequeathed books, paintings, portfolios of natural history watercolours and personal copies of her “little books”.

The conference was excellent and it was wonderful to hear the stories of so many important and ground-breaking women spanning hundreds of years.

Find out more about Kathleen Carpenter on this blog by a member of the Mary Gillham Archive Project Steering Group, Dr Catherine Duigan.

We’ll be writing up our work about Mary and hopefully getting it circulated through the Society.