Why does the face of Mary Somerville, who was born in 1780 and grew up in Burntisland, appear on today’s RBS £10 banknotes?

Members of Paisley & District u3a will soon find out following their AGM on Thursday 2nd March at 2pm.

Guest speaker, Barbara Graham then charts how Mary – whose parents forbade her to study Maths and Science – became known as “the Queen of Science” and revealed new wonders of the worlds of astronomy and physics.

u3a chair, Kathy O’Donnell said: “We are going to learn about an extraordinary, gifted woman. Astronomer Mary Somerville was born almost 250 years ago when access to education by girls was fairly limited. Instead, Mary Somerville became a leading light in scientific circles. Her pioneering work eventually led to her nickname Queen of Science. Mary was a strong supporter of women’s education and women’s right to vote. It’s apt that we explore such a celebrated vote-winner at this meeting which includes the AGM.”

Barbara Graham said: “I am fascinated by women and men who challenge the norms of their society and, in doing so, expand the frontiers of human knowledge. The fact that most of them do so, not for their own gain, but for the benefit of other people, makes them all the more admirable. Mary Somerville was such a person, who revolutionised the teaching of science and opened the doors of higher education for many women.”

Doors open from 1.30pm on Thursday 2nd March for refreshments with the talk beginning at 2pm in the Salvation Army Hall, Mill Street, Paisley PA1 1ND.

Details of local u3a activities and groups at: https://u3asites.org.uk/paisley/welcome.

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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