Forgotten Female Fossilists

Rebecca Stott uncovers the lives of three women whose fossil collections led to new discoveries about natural history.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
03Anna Thynne20151002 (BBC7)
20151003 (BBC7)

Presenter Rebecca Stott looks at Anna Thynne's fascination for madrepores.

Presenter Rebecca Stott looks at Anna Thynne's fascination for madrepores, which led to the invention of the marine aquarium. From July 2003.

0101Margaret, Duchess Of Portland2003070620041206
20150930 (BBC7)
20151001 (BBC7)

In the mid-eighteenth century, she was the leading female connoisseur and scientific amateur of her day, with thousands of fossil specimens.

But in the age before Darwin, what did Margaret and her fellow scientists think the fossils were?

The Duchess housed thousands of fossils, unaware of their true significance.

The Duchess housed thousands of fossils, unaware of their true significance. Presenter Rebecca Stott. From July 2003.

0102Mary Anning2003071320041207
20151001 (BBC7)
20151002 (BBC7)

In the early nineteenth century, Mary Anning became 'the greatest fossilist the world ever knew'.

This uneducated girl changed the face of British palaeontology with her study of the hundreds of fossils she found in the cliffs at Lyme Regis.

Although not a scientist, Mary Anning made major discoveries along the Jurassic coast.

Although she was not a scientist, Mary Anning made major discoveries along the Jurassic coast. Presented by Rebecca Stott. From July 2003.

0103 LASTAnna Thynne2003072020041208

In the mid nineteenth century her collection of madrepore coral fossils led her to study living madrepores.

But first she had to solve the problem of how to keep them alive far from the sea.

Her solution led to the invention of the marine aquarium.