Trailblazing Women of Science

How many Scottish female scientists can you name? Throughout history, women have made significant contributions to the advancement of science but remain little known figures. Catherine Booth, Curator of Science Collections at the National Library of Scotland has been uncovering the stories of these pioneering women and will share her findings at the Glasgow Women’s Library for Glasgow Science Festival this year.


 1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Catherine Booth and I am Curator of Science Collections at the National Library of Scotland.  The photograph shows me sitting near the top of Ben Nevis, feeling very proud to have reached the summit.  I was intrigued to see the ruins of the observatory which existed up there between 1883 and 1904.

2. What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

I am giving a talk at the Glasgow Women’s Library on Scottish Women of Science – trailblazers from the past.  I have been researching women who made remarkable achievements in science – yet their names are almost completely unknown.

3. 2016 is Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. What innovation could you not live without?

My radio!  I love listening to radio dramas and documentaries, as well as music.

4. It’s Glasgow Science Festival’s 10th birthday! We’ll be celebrating with some science-themed cake and balloons. What’s your birthday treat of choice?

To be able to sit with my feet up reading a good book eating chocolate and drinking a cup of tea.

5. And finally: impress us with your favourite science fact or joke.

An optimist sees a glass as half full, while a pessimist sees a glass as half empty.  A chemist, however, will observe a glass as completely full – half with liquid and half with air.

Join Catherine at the Women’s Libraries on 17 June from 14:00-15:00 for her talk ‘Trailblazing Women of Science.’ For more information, see the website.



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