RSL Portraiture – Jane Kirkaldy

Jane Willis Kirkaldy – science educator (1869-1932)

About Jane Kirkaldy:

Further Resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Anne Burns nee Pellew

Anne Burns – aeronautical engineer and glider pilot (1915-2001)

About Anne Burns:

  • Evans, H.  (2009, January 08). Burns [née Pellew], Anne (1915–2001), aeronautical engineer and glider pilot. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/75239
  • Freudenberg, Matthew. (2009). Clear air turbulence: a life of Anne Burns. Charlton Publications. Available in SOLO https://tinyurl.com/4epwatsz

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – James Joseph Sylvester

James Joseph Sylvester – mathematician (1814-1897)

About James Joseph Sylvester:

Further Resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Christopher Strachey

Christopher Strachey – computer scientist (1916-1975)

About Christopher Strachey:

 Further Resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Mary Lucy Cartwright

Mary Lucy Cartwright – mathematician (1900-1998)

About Mary Lucy Cartwright:

Further Resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Robert Burton

Robert Burton – scholar, writer (1577-1640)

About Robert Burton:

Further Resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

RSL Portraiture – Madge Gertrude Adam, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin and Marjorie Mary Sweeting

The following scientists were chosen to celebrate women in science, including those with disabilities. During their lifetimes, the research fields they chose were predominantly male-dominated.

Madge Gertrude Adam – solar astronomer (1912-2001)

About Madge Gertrude Adam:

Further Resources:

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin – Nobel Prize-winning British chemist (1910-1994)

About Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin:

Further Resources:

  • Dunitz, J. D. “Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin – An Introduction to Her Work and Personality.” Current science (Bangalore) 72.7 (1997): 447–450. Available in SOLO http://tinyurl.com/5a2xxkp6
  • Ferry, Georgina. Dorothy Hodgkin : A Life. London: Bloomsbury Reader, 2014. Available in SOLO http://tinyurl.com/mvmv3nwh

Marjorie Mary Sweeting – geomorphologist (1920 – 1994)

About Marjorie Mary Sweeting: 

Further Resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.

Black History Month Display 2023

This Black History Month we have selected a few key titles from our collection that highlight the role of black people in history and science. We have also selected a few  titles that show some of the impact of racism in these fields. Please browse our digital display and let us know if you have any recommendations.

Continue reading

New Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Portraiture at the Re-Opening of the Radcliffe Science Library

The Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion project presented several challenges along the way, but we are pleased to present a display featuring historical scientists connected to Oxford to various degrees thanks to recommendations we received from staff and students at the University. To learn more about the project, including some of the steps we took to get feedback, check out our previous blog post.

This collection of portraiture, which will be refreshed on a regular basis, includes deceased scientists, some well-known and others lesser known, spanning from the 16th to the 21st centuries. They represent various aspects of inclusion through their career choices, achievements, and personal characteristics.

You will encounter their gaze in several locations within the library, primarily in the reading rooms above doors, and at the end of bookcases housing works related to the subjects they worked on. If you wish to learn more about them, you can scan the QR code next to their portraits, which will provide additional information about who they were, and read the essay by Lola Milton-Jenkins, the winner of our writing competition, on “Robert Burton: Pioneer of Men’s Mental Health.”

We will also display current members of the University of Oxford scientific community selected from our nomination call who have made outstanding contributions to support equality, diversity, and inclusion in the medical and mathematical, physical, and life sciences divisions.

We hope that you will find the newly renovated library, along with its new portraiture, to be an inspiring place for study and reflection, where you feel welcome, valued, and respected.­­

If we have inadvertently overlooked any historic scientists with a connection to Oxford whom you believe should be celebrated on our walls, please provide us with their details. We will periodically review our display every two years.

We have published blog posts about several of the portraits, see the full list below and click on the links to view the individual blog posts.

Inclusive portraiture – our search continues

As part of its actions for supporting an inclusive culture, the Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) is working on diversifying its portraiture and creating a space where everyone feels welcome, valued, and respected when it re-opens in Summer 2023.

Silhouttes of many diverse faces layered over each other in a variety of colours.

Our list of historical names is currently lacking scientists from Black, Asian, minoritised ethnic and LGBTQ+ communities connected to science and medicine at Oxford for the library re-opening in the coming summer vacation. We recognise that it may be difficult to identify individuals because the contributions and achievements of these communities have often been ignored or unfairly marginalised. However, if you know someone, let us know. We also welcome historical names from these underrepresented communities in science and medicine outside Oxford, preferably from the UK and the Commonwealth,  

  • You find inspiring and you want to highlight.
  • Who were the first in a white dominated discipline.
  • Who were not scientists but made important contributions to research.

Please contact karine.barker@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with your suggestions.