Scotland has a rich heritage in science and engineering. Scots like James Watt and Joseph Black are well recognised as pushing us into the modern world. But where are the women? And what are their stories?
The ‘Monumental’ project, which was launched during Glasgow Science Festival 2017, will uncover the women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) whose contributions have helped make Scotland a powerhouse of science and innovation.
In Glasgow, only three public statues of women exist: Queen Victoria, Isabella Elder and Dolores Ibárruri. In Edinburgh, there are more statues of animals than women. ‘Monumental’ will invite the public to nominate and vote for four Scottish female scientists to be immortalised in custom-built figures, which will pop up in locations across Glasgow and beyond.
The project will also feature ‘living’ statues, with events led by inspirational women currently working in STEMM. From storytelling to community gala days and exhibitions, a rich programme of free events will give the public ample opportunity to get involved and explore Scotland’s lesserknown history.
Dr Deborah McNeill, Glasgow Science Festival Director and Project Lead said: “The contributions of women to science and society have been overlooked throughout history. Through ‘Monumental’, we hope to do a little to redress this balance, by uncovering some of the lesser-known gems who helped make Scotland the powerhouse of science and engineering it is today. We are delighted to receive support from the Heritage Lottery Fund in delivering this exciting new project.”
Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Monumental is a great project as it shows clearly how heritage can be a catalyst for lots of different activities and bring people together behind a common purpose. HLF is pleased to support Monumental in its plans to involve people of all ages, offering them the chance to contribute to and, thanks to National Lottery players, enjoy an important part of their history.”
Monumental will culminate in Monumental Live, with four custom-built statues of female Scottish scientists – as chosen by you – popping up across Glasgow and beyond throughout the summer of 2018.