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Women peers in the scientific realm: Sarah Bowdich (Lee)'s expert collaborations with Georges Cuvier, 1825–33

Women peers in the scientific realm: Sarah Bowdich (Lee)'s expert collaborations with Georges Cuvier, 1825–33
Women peers in the scientific realm: Sarah Bowdich (Lee)'s expert collaborations with Georges Cuvier, 1825–33
The accepted rule for women contributing to nineteenth-century science before 1851 was that they could play only secondary roles in its production and authorship—as translators, illustrators, popularizers—and these by virtue of kinship or marriage to eminent scientists in the field or the laboratory. Sarah Bowdich (Lee) (1791–1856) presents an important amendment to this rule. As an explorer of West Africa on an equal scientific footing with her husband, and then a writer of science independently after his early death, she had other key roles as Georges Cuvier's cross-Channel scientific collaborator and as his first biographer. This article investigates and reframes Sarah's many individual achievements in science and its writing, to examine the larger questions of her case. How were her publications and ‘uneasy career’ in science possible? Can research on women in science today find inspiration in her example?
0035-9149
37-51
Orr, Mary
3eec40eb-479c-4c9a-b2da-7388a27f9d5c
Orr, Mary
3eec40eb-479c-4c9a-b2da-7388a27f9d5c

Orr, Mary (2015) Women peers in the scientific realm: Sarah Bowdich (Lee)'s expert collaborations with Georges Cuvier, 1825–33. Notes and Records of The Royal Society, 69 (1), 37-51. (doi:10.1098/rsnr.2014.0059).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The accepted rule for women contributing to nineteenth-century science before 1851 was that they could play only secondary roles in its production and authorship—as translators, illustrators, popularizers—and these by virtue of kinship or marriage to eminent scientists in the field or the laboratory. Sarah Bowdich (Lee) (1791–1856) presents an important amendment to this rule. As an explorer of West Africa on an equal scientific footing with her husband, and then a writer of science independently after his early death, she had other key roles as Georges Cuvier's cross-Channel scientific collaborator and as his first biographer. This article investigates and reframes Sarah's many individual achievements in science and its writing, to examine the larger questions of her case. How were her publications and ‘uneasy career’ in science possible? Can research on women in science today find inspiration in her example?

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e-pub ahead of print date: 26 November 2014
Published date: 20 March 2015
Organisations: Modern Languages

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Local EPrints ID: 396086
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/396086
ISSN: 0035-9149
PURE UUID: d884ff4a-3ef7-42cd-ad75-80a93ccab54b

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Date deposited: 07 Jun 2016 08:30
Last modified: 16 Dec 2019 19:53

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