2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Paper No. 71-6
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM-9:50 AM

THE ROLES OF BRITISH AND GERMAN WOMEN IN EARLY 19TH CENTURY PALEONTOLOGY: A COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT

KÖLBL-EBERT, Martina, Jura-Museum Eichstätt, Willibaldsburg, Eichstätt 85072 Germany, Koelbl-Ebert@jura-museum.de.

The history of the geosciences has largely been interpreted as a history of the work of male scientists. Attention to the social framework in which geology was studied makes it clear that, in fact, women in various roles participated in and shaped the history of the discipline. The beginnings of geological research in its modern sense occurred around 1800. In Germany, the early professionalization of geology effectively precluded the collaboration of women (Kölbl-Ebert, 2001). However, in the largely non-professional culture of natural science in Britain, women were not excluded from participation. They were not yet regarded as opponents in the competition for jobs;. Rather, they were welcomed as fellow-enthusiasts. Beyond this, the activities of wives, daughters and sisters, or even unrelated female acquaintances, were at that time an integral part of the infrastructure of scientific work. As a result, there were many female contributors in the United Kingdom, especially to paleontology, in early 19th century. They formed a corps of assistants, secretaries, collectors, painters and field geologists, adding to and shaping the work of leading figures in the geological sciences (Kölbl-Ebert, 2002). Problems arose, however, when women aspired to work on their own research programs as independent lady-geologists (Torrens et al., 2000; Kölbl-Ebert, in press).

Kölbl-Ebert, M. (2001) On the origin of women geologists by means of social selection - German and British comparison. Episodes, 24 (3): 182-193. Kölbl-Ebert, M. (2002) British geology in the early 19th Century - A conglomerate with a female matrix. Earth Sciences History, 21 (1): 3-25. Kölbl-Ebert, M. (in press): Barbara, Marchioness of Hastings (1810-1858), fossil collector and 'lady-geologist'. Earth Sciences History. Torrens, H.S., Benamy, E., Daeschler, E.B., Spamer, E.E. and Bogan, A.E. (2000) Etheldred Benett of Wiltshire, England, the first lady geologist - Her fossil collection in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and the rediscovery of 'lost' specimens of Jurassic Trigoniidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) with their soft anatomy preserved. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 150: 59-123.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Session No. 71
Signs of Life: the Role of Paleobiology in the History of Evolutionary Theory and our Attempts to Understand the Changing Nature of the Biosphere
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 4C-4
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Monday, November 3, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 206

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