Main content

In the 1940s, Dorothy made more scientific strides even with a baby, prompting the college to award maternity pay. From October 2014.

The correspondence of Nobel Prize winning scientist, Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), introduced by her biographer, Georgina Ferry.

In the 1940s, Dorothy worked on the structure of a new medicine with a miraculous reputation, penicillin: making her first big breakthrough while breastfeeding her daughter Liz and with her peripatetic husband, Thomas, living and working away from home. Somerville College invented maternity pay for her, a benefit which Dorothy accepted rather reluctantly. As ever, her mother urged her to go gently but, inspired by her discoveries, Dorothy worked harder than ever.

Producer: Anna Buckley.

Available now

15 minutes

Dorothy Hodgkin's Papers - the archive

With thanks to the Hodgkin family for permission to broadcast the letters. The archive of Dorothy Hodgkin’s papers is held by the Bodleian Library, Oxford.