New life-writing publication: Georgina Ferry, Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life 

We are happy to share this announcement from Georgina Ferry,  a member of the Advisory Board of OCLW:

2014 is the 50th anniversary of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Dorothy Hodgkin, the Oxford X-ray crystallographer who was an honorary fellow of Wolfson College, in 1964. In time for the anniversary, Georgina Ferry’s biography Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life, first published by Granta in 1998, is being reissued by Bloomsbury Reader on 11 September in ebook and paperback formats.

Hodgkin (1910-1994) holds the distinction of being the only British woman scientist to receive a Nobel prize. From the 1930s she pioneered the use of a new technique, X-ray crystallography, to probe the three-dimensional structure of important biological molecules including proteins, antibiotics and vitamins. She was also a social activist and peace campaigner with strongly-held left wing views, who used her celebrity to fight for causes she believed in. As Margaret Thatcher’s former tutor at Somerville College, she personally lobbied her ex-student both on funding for higher education and on improved relations with the Soviet Union.

Ferry’s biography is based on an extensive archive of personal and professional papers held in the Bodleian Library, as well as interviews with many of Hodgkin’s contemporaries. Thanks to the support of the Hodgkin family – Hodgkin’s three children did not noticeably arrest her scientific career – she has been able to quote extensively from Hodgkin’s correspondence, bringing to light her private thinking on personal, political and scientific subjects.


Georgina Ferry is a science writer and author, and a member of the Advisory Board of OCLW


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