Two women worthy of gracing £50 note
With regard to who should appear on the new £50 note (Editorial, 6 November), may I suggest Mary Somerville (1780-1872), a self-taught mathematician and polymath, an early campaigner for women’s rights and the vote. Her book On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences became one of the bestselling science books of the 19th century. The word scientist was first used in a review of her book.
There is also Caroline Herschel (1750-1848), who was with her better known brother William when he discovered Uranus. She became the world’s first professional astronomer, with her salary provided by King George III. Following the production of a catalogue of astronomical nebulae, she became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Astronomical Society’s gold medal in 1828.