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An intimate portrait of Dorothy Hodgkin, the only British woman to win a Nobel Prize for science, for cracking the chemical structures of penicillin and vitamin B12.

An Eye for Pattern: The Letters of Dorothy Hodgki‪n‬ BBC

    • Личные журналы

An intimate portrait of Dorothy Hodgkin, the only British woman to win a Nobel Prize for science, for cracking the chemical structures of penicillin and vitamin B12.

    Episode 5

    Episode 5

    The correspondence of Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994) introduced by her biographer, Georgina Ferry.

    Later in life, Dorothy combined scientific research with actively campaigning for peace, travelling to China and Russia during the Cold War and later writing to her former student, Margaret Thatcher.

    On receiving the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964, she said she hoped that, in future, a woman winning such a prize would not require any special comment as 'more use is made of the talents that women share equally with men'. Fifty years later her hope has still not been fulfilled. Dorothy Hodgkin remains the only British woman to have been awarded a Nobel Prize for science.


    Producer: Anna Buckley.

    • 13 мин.
    Episode 4

    Episode 4

    The correspondence of Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994) introduced by her biographer, Georgina Ferry.

    After the war, Dorothy juggled pioneering research with bringing up three children. Having cracked the structure of penicillin in 1945, she embarked on an even more complicated molecule, vitamin B12, while her husband Thomas spent long periods living and working in Africa. Elected as one of the first female fellows of The Royal Society aged just 36, Dorothy's reputation as a world class researcher was growing, rapidly.

    Producer: Anna Buckley.

    • 13 мин.
    Episode 3

    Episode 3

    The correspondence of Nobel Prize winning scientist, Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), introduced by her biographer, Georgina Ferry.

    In the 1940s, Dorothy worked on the structure of a new medicine with a miraculous reputation, penicillin: making her first big breakthrough while breastfeeding her daughter Liz and with her peripatetic husband, Thomas, living and working away from home. Somerville College invented maternity pay for her, a benefit which Dorothy accepted rather reluctantly. As ever, her mother urged her to go gently but, inspired by her discoveries, Dorothy worked harder than ever.

    Producer: Anna Buckley.

    • 13 мин.
    Episode 2

    Episode 2

    The correspondence of the Nobel Prize winning scientist, Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), introduced by her biographer, Georgina Ferry.

    In the early 1930s, Dorothy embraced x-ray crystallography, working with her phD supervisor and lover, J.D. Bernal. Letters that were both scientific and highly personal flew back and forth between them, as they tried to determine the internal structure of complex molecules.


    Producer: Anna Buckley.

    • 13 мин.
    Episode 1

    Episode 1

    The correspondence of Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), broadcast for the first time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964. Her letters, introduced by her biographer Georgina Ferry, reveal a passionate and gentle woman who juggled pioneering research in x-ray crystallography with bringing up three children, while her husband Thomas spent much of his time in Africa.

    From an early age, Dorothy ran the family home, looking after her younger siblings while her parents travelled the world. In 1928, Dorothy's parents encouraged her to apply to Oxford University to read chemistry. They were confident in her intellectual ability but her father did worry that, without a good haircut, her appearance might let her down.

    Dorothy's university friend, Betty Murray, described her as 'quite the most interesting woman in College'. She was passionate about chemistry, choosing to spend her 21st birthday in the lab and became interested in x ray crystallography, a new technique for revealing the internal structure of molecules. She also enjoyed archaeology and painstakingly completed intricate paintings of ancient mosaics. All the while, her distant but devoted mother repeatedly warned her not to work too hard.

    Dorothy Hodgkin remains the only British woman to have been awarded a Nobel Prize for science. She really ought to be a household name.

    Producer: Anna Buckley.

    • 13 мин.

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