The oldest and most prestigious scientific society in the world – Britain’s 400 year old Royal Society – has announced that it is to replace busts of some of the most important male scientists from history with artworks depicting women, such as a popular TV presenter. The move comes after the hounding from his post of at University College London of Sir Tim Hunt over a throwaway ‘sexist’ joke.
THE Royal Society is to replace portraits and busts of some of Britain’s most renowned male scientists at its London headquarters with artworks depicting leading women.
In an effort to reverse its male-dominated image, the society plans to install a bust of Lucie Green, the television astronomer, at the entrance to its 18th-century romanesque building in Carlton House Terrace and portraits of other leading women scientists around its marbled staircases and other public areas.
Visitors will also be greeted by a bust of Mary Somerville, the 19th-century astronomer who became the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Athene Donald, professor of physics at Cambridge University, who championed the scheme, said: “It is great to see progress in changing the face of the society.”
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