Those Wonderful Women Scientists

Ref: C2224479

In this course we will examine how, despite much opposition in some cases, women have made many significant discoveries in a wide range of sciences such as astronomy (Carolyn Herschel, Henrietta Leavitt, Annie Jump-Cannon, and Joselyn Bell-Burnell), crystallography (Kathleen Lonsdale, Dorothy Hodgkin, and Rosalind Franklin), palaeontology (Mary Anning), and chemistry and physics (Marie Curie, Irene Joloit-Curie, and Lisa Meitner). Each session will involve a brief exploration of each woman's life (perhaps by reading an obituary) followed by a fairly in-depth exploration of the science in which she was involved.

Course aim

To explore some major advances in the sciences which have resulted from the work of women scientists.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • No prior knowledge of the sciences will be assumed, but basic numeracy and literacy skills will be required.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • outline some major developments which resulted from the work of women scientists.
  • describe some of the difficulties and opposition faced by some women scientists in their endeavours to carry out their work.
  • appreciate that many of the discoveries made by women scientists have contributed positively to our modern lives.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • There will be plenty of opportunities to assess your own learning by means of the wide variety of worksheets which you will be invited to complete throughout the course, and the outcomes of which we will often discuss as a group.

What else do I need to know?

  • A notebook and writing materials will be needed.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • This course will provide the student with a good understanding of the roles of women in the development of some of the sciences.

Download full Course information sheet

Those Wonderful Women Scientists


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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