A briefing for female entrepreneurs in biotechnology about Somerville’s plans to establish a Dorothy Hodgkin Early Career Fellowship at Oxford was held at the Royal Society in London on 28 April.

The ‘Dorothy Hodgkin Early Career Fellowship Briefing’ saw business people and biochemists gather at the Royal Society, where they heard talks and testimonials on the fundraising project, on the scientific tradition at Somerville College, on Chemistry at Oxford, on women in research and on the relationship between academia and entrepreneurship.

“It is rare for business people to hear about scientific research first-hand, as they would often hear about it from their CEO or from project managers – that’s what was really special about this event was how they heard directly from us,” said Dr Gokce Su Pulcu (above, right), a Junior Research Fellow at Somerville who attended the event. “That also meant it was a great opportunity to connect.”

The event particularly remembers former Somerville Fellow Professor Dorothy Hodgkin OM (1928, Chemistry), who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964 for her work on x-ray crystallography. In 2014 Somerville marked the 50th anniversary of that award with a Dorothy Hodgkin Symposium held in College. You can read more about Dorothy Hodgkin’s life and work in our commemorative booklet, which can be found on the Publications page on our website.

The project aims to support female researchers at the critical stage between postdoctoral and professorial positions. It is a joint initiative of the Somerville College and the University’s Chemistry Department.

Watching over proceedings was the sculptor Francis Chantrey’s bust (see photo above) of Mary Somerville (1780-1872), the great astronomer and science writer and the most renowned woman scientist of her day, for whom Somerville College is named.

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