As International Women's Day 2024 approaches, we take a moment to honour the remarkable women who have left a lasting impression on Cambridge and the world. From groundbreaking scientists to pioneering activists, these influential figures have shaped our understanding of society, culture, and the pursuit of knowledge. Join us as we explore the stories of these extraordinary women and celebrate their enduring legacies of empowerment and achievement. Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin: Pioneering X-Ray Crystallographer Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, a distinguished chemist and Nobel laureate, is celebrated for her groundbreaking work in X-ray crystallography. Her pioneering research at the University of Cambridge led to the determination of the three-dimensional structures of important biomolecules, including penicillin and insulin. Hodgkin's contributions revolutionised the field of structural biology and earned her the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964. Her legacy continues to inspire generations of scientists around the world.

Enid Porter: Pioneering Inclusive History and Commemorative Legacy Enid Porter, the esteemed Curator of the Cambridge & County Folk Museum, now the Museum of Cambridge, from 1947 to 1976, played a pivotal role in reshaping the narrative of history, making it more inclusive and accessible to all. Her visionary philosophy sought to steer away from elitist interpretations, championing a more egalitarian approach to social history. Through her prolific writing, which includes articles and the seminal work "Victorian Cambridge: Josiah Chater’s Diaries," Porter illuminated the lesser-known aspects of Cambridge's past, enriching our understanding of its cultural heritage. Her tireless efforts in amassing a diverse collection of artefacts have provided invaluable insights into the lives of generations past. The Museum proudly commemorates her legacy with a dedicated functions room in her honour and a blue plaque adorning its entrance, serving as a testament to her enduring impact on preserving and sharing the history of Cambridge. Furthermore, the Cambridgeshire Federation of Women’s Institutes, integral to the Museum’s inception, underscores the collaborative spirit that has fueled its success. Their pioneering exhibition in October 1933, "A Festival of Olden Times," held at the Guildhall, laid the groundwork for the establishment of a permanent Museum in late 1936, highlighting the vital role women have played in shaping Cambridge's cultural landscape.

Rosalind Franklin: Unveiling the Structure of DNA Rosalind Franklin, a pioneering scientist and crystallographer, made significant contributions to the understanding of DNA's structure. While at King's College London, Franklin's X-ray diffraction images provided crucial insights into the double helix structure of DNA, laying the foundation for James Watson and Francis Crick's groundbreaking discovery. Franklin's work remains an essential part of the scientific legacy, highlighting her role in unravelling one of the most significant mysteries of modern biology. Franklin also makes up one of the ten Alumni-named Suites we have here at University Arms.

Mary Beard: Renowned Classicist and Public Intellectual Mary Beard, a distinguished classicist and Cambridge University professor, is renowned for her scholarly contributions and public engagement. Through her insightful writings and captivating lectures, Beard has brought ancient history to life for audiences around the world. Her fearless advocacy for gender equality and her unwavering commitment to intellectual inquiry have made her a leading voice in academia and beyond. Beard's impact extends far beyond the classroom, inspiring countless individuals to explore the complexities of the past and their relevance to the present.

Jane Goodall: Renowned Primatologist and Environmentalist Jane Goodall, a pioneering primatologist and environmental activist, has deep ties to the city of Cambridge. Goodall's groundbreaking research on chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania revolutionised our understanding of animal behaviour and conservation. Although her work primarily took place in Africa, Goodall spent significant time in Cambridge during her academic career. She obtained her Ph.D. in Ethology from Newnham College, University of Cambridge, and later served as a visiting professor at the university. Goodall's tireless advocacy for wildlife conservation and environmental education has inspired millions around the globe to take action in protecting our planet's biodiversity. Her legacy serves as a testament to the profound impact individuals can have on shaping a more sustainable and harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world.

Sybil Marshall: Historian and Author Sybil Marshall, an influential historian and author, is deeply connected to the city of Cambridge. Marshall's acclaimed memoirs, including "An Experiment in Education" and "A Cambridge Childhood," offer vivid portrayals of life in Cambridge during the early 20th century. Her intimate accounts of growing up in the city provide valuable insights into its cultural heritage and social dynamics. Marshall's dedication to preserving and sharing the history of Cambridge has left an enduring impact on the community. Through her writings, she has captured the imagination of readers worldwide and contributed to a deeper appreciation of the city's rich tapestry of stories and traditions.

Eglantyne Jebb: Humanitarian and Founder of Save the Children Eglantyne Jebb, a pioneering humanitarian and founder of Save the Children, has deep connections to the city of Cambridge. Jebb's visionary leadership and tireless advocacy for children's rights laid the groundwork for the establishment of one of the world's leading humanitarian organisations. Born in Cambridge and educated at the University of Cambridge's Girton College, Jebb was deeply influenced by the city's intellectual and social milieu. Her groundbreaking work on behalf of children in the aftermath of World War I led to the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, a precursor to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Jebb's legacy continues to inspire generations of activists and philanthropists to champion the rights and well-being of children around the world, embodying the spirit of compassion and social responsibility that defines Cambridge's ethos.

Barbara Hepworth: Visionary Sculptor Barbara Hepworth, an influential sculptor and leading figure in the modern art movement, spent much of her career in St Ives, Cornwall, but her ties to Cambridge are significant. Hepworth studied at the University of Cambridge's School of Art and her innovative approach to sculpture, characterised by organic forms and a deep connection to nature, challenged traditional conventions and reshaped the artistic landscape. Her iconic works, including the monumental "Single Form" sculpture outside the United Nations Headquarters, continue to captivate audiences with their timeless beauty and profound expression of human experience.

Florence Ada Keynes

Florence Ada Keynes (mother to the famous economist John Maynard Keynes) was President of the Executive Committee of Cambridge and County Folk Museum Association (the Museum has since changed its name from the Folk Museum to the Museum of Cambridge). Very early into the Museum’s life in the 1930s, she chaired annual meetings on the progress of the Museum and helped to get it national support since, as one newspaper report put it in March 1939, ‘the Museum had established itself in the public esteem’.

Relax and Unwind at The University Arms As we celebrate International Women's Day 2024, let us reflect on the extraordinary achievements of these remarkable women and the countless others who have left their mark on Cambridge and the world. Their stories serve as a testament to the power of perseverance, ingenuity, and determination in overcoming obstacles and effecting positive change. Thinking of coming for a visit to explore Cambridge? Consider experiencing the unparalleled hospitality and comfort offered at The. Indulge in luxury with our range of spa treatments, and savour the delectable offerings of Parker's Tavern, our brasserie restaurant, with delightful afternoon tea available. Embrace the opportunity to unwind and create cherished moments with your loved ones as we pay homage to these extraordinary women from Cambridge’s history.