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Leicester Special Collections

Women in Science

Women have been involved in science as students, teachers and practitioners since ancient times. Their acceptance by the men who dominated science subjects varied a great deal. In Britain in the latter part of nineteenth century, an increase in the number of women’s colleges provided jobs for women scientists and opportunities for education.

Some of the more enlightened institutions, such as University College Leicester, employed women science lecturers and accepted women as undergraduates on an equal basis with men, provided they satisfied the entry requirements.

Dr Ethel Nancy Miles Thomas was an important female Botanist working in the early 20th century. She played a key role in setting up the teaching of biological sciences at the newly founded college and paved the way for incredible female scientists who have worked at the University. So that they may have life volunteer Hamuun Farah tells her story.