Those wonderful women scientists

Ref: C2225501

Throughout history there has often been little recognition of the role played by women in the advancement of science. Instead, science has often been viewed as a subject unsuitable for investigation by women and, even today, many persons would find it difficult to name more than a few women scientists. However, as we will see throughout this course, despite their frequent rejection by the scientific community, their having to publish their work anonymously, or their denial of the Nobel prizes with which some should, undoubtedly, have been rewarded, women scientists have included some of the best scientists the world has known. We will examine the work of about twenty women scientists, ranging from antiquity to the present day, and whose work covered a wide spectrum of sciences including palaeontology, astronomy and X-ray crystallography.

Course aim

In this course we examine the lives of about twenty women scientists, concentrating on their research and how it fitted in with known science and affected future investigations.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • No prior knowledge of science will be assumed but, throughout the course, we will progress rapidly, often building on concepts met with in earlier sessions.

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

  • describe the work carried out by a selection of important women scientists.
  • recall how some women scientists overcame major difficulties in order to make important contributions to science.
  • describe how the work of some women scientists laid the basis for further discoveries.

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
  • Although you will, occasionally, be invited to carry out further work to enhance your learning, this will be completely optional.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • The tutor will always welcome questions relevant to the topics being discussed and will be pleased to discuss the work both with the whole group and with individual students.

What else do I need to know?

  • A notebook and writing equipment will be needed in every session, and a scientific calculator will be useful occasionally.

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
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Those wonderful women scientists


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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