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Discovery

299 EpisodesProduced by BBC World ServiceWebsite

Explorations in the world of science.

27:06

Science Stories - Sophia Jex-Blake

Naomi Alderman tells the science story of Sophia Jex-Blake, who led a group known as the Edinburgh Seven in their bid to become the first women to graduate as doctors from a British university. Her campaign was long and ultimately personally unsuccessful as she had to go to Switzerland to gain her qualification. Although Edinburgh University allowed the Seven to attend some lectures, they had to be taught apart from the male students. There was great antipathy to the women which culminated in 1870 with a riot as they tried to take an exam.

Naomi discusses Sophia Jex-Blake's life and times with Dr Kristin Hussey who curated an exhibition at the Royal College of Physicians about women in medicine.

And Dr Fizzah Ali from the Medical Women's Federation talks about women's careers in medicine today.

Image: Sophia Jex-Blake, aged 25. Credit: From a portrait by Samuel Laurence. (Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

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