The Minerva Talk on 31st January was given by Professor June Barrow Green, Professor of History of Mathematics at the Open University.

The talk was extremely interesting and was about the role women play in maths. She began by asking the audience to think of famous scientists. Of course! We thought of Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and more. She then asked us if any were female mathematicians and our answer was no, none were.

As it turns out, there were many: she spoke about Hypatia of Alexandria, Emilie du Chatelet, Sophie Germaine, Mary Somerville, Ada Lovelace, Sofia Kovalevskaya and Philippa Fawcett. It was a very eye opening talk and showed me how big a role women play in mathematics and its history despite how little we might hear of them.

The talk definitely left us feeling slightly upset at how unfair history had been towards these incredible women but with hope that the world of mathematics is becoming a fairer place.

Esme, Year 9