Ladies with hammers: 19th century female British geologists and their context
Under the motto Diversity4Research@LMU, various events highlighting the relevance of gender and diversity aspects in research will bring the LMU community together during the summer semester of 2022.
The history of the geosciences has largely been interpreted as a history of male scientists, but incorporating their social context into historical research reveals how women have participated in and shaped the history of the geosciences in a variety of roles.
The beginning of geological research in the modern sense occurred in the 1800's. In Germany, the early professionalization of geology and a rigid female gender model effectively excluded women's participation, while in the largely non-professional culture of the natural sciences in the United Kingdom, women were an integral part of the infrastructure of British geology, serving as assistants, secretaries, collectors, painters, and field geologists to the leaders of the geological sciences, complementing and shaping their work.
Problems arose, however, where women aspired to work as independent geologists on their own research programs. These women were also largely denied access to comprehensive geological education through universities, public libraries, or membership in scientific societies, leading to considerable frustration.The increasing professionalization of geology eventually made the female assistants of previous decades obsolete, and when university studies were opened to women in the late 1870s, women geoscientists were perceived as unwelcome competitors. Anti-discrimination laws in the wake of World War I finally forced conservatives in the Geological Society to admit female fellows.
- PD Dr. Martina Kölbl-Ebert
This event will be held in English. A registration is not required. Online you will find more information about the Diversity Initiative.