Brigitte Stenhouse will appear today on The Forum, broadcast by the BBC World Service, speaking on Mary Somerville: the queen of 19th century science .
Brigitte recently completed her PhD on Mary Somerville: Being and Becoming a Mathematician at the Open University, supervised by Professor June Barrow-Green. She is now a Departmental Lecturer in the History of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, and an Associate Lecturer in Mathematics at the Open University.
The synopsis for this episode of The Forum reads as follows.
For someone who was largely self-taught, Mary Somerville's rise to renown in the male-dominated world of science was quite remarkable. Although women were barred from being members of the learned societies where knowledge was shared in the early 19th-Century, Somerville found alternative ways to become one of the most respected figures in maths and science of her day.
Scottish-born Somerville played a crucial role in communicating the latest findings in science through a series of successful books. She regretted never making any original discoveries herself however, so does her experience suggest we should re-evaluate the role of originality in science?
Bridget Kendall is joined by Jim Secord, emeritus professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, who has edited the works of Mary Somerville; Dr Brigitte Stenhouse, lecturer in the History of Mathematics at the University of Oxford whose doctoral thesis looked at the mathematical work of Mary Somerville; and Ruth Boreham, former project curator at the National Library of Scotland, who is writing a biography of Mary Somerville.