Women scientists were a rarity in Britain during the early twentieth century. The country employed two million women as domestic servants but there were only 200 women doctors and 2 women architects. That changed during The Great War. Patricia Fara tells the stories of some of these women pioneers in science in A Lab of One’s Own. Fara, who studied physics at Oxford, also recounts how many advances made by women during the war were rolled back afterwards.
A Lab of One’s Own is an engrossing account of uncelebrated women scientists who innovated and experimented during a period of grand historical events. Fara’s underlying argument is that there is nothing unusual about feminine involvement with science. We know that today, but the story of a time when that wasn’t true makes an interesting read.