Spring Programme - 7 March 2019

Women in Geology

Paul Hildreth, President of the Yorkshire Geological Society

A set of lectures organized by the Yorkshire Geological Society in March 2017 and delivered in Leeds explored the contribution made by “Leading Yorkshire Figures in the History of Geology”.  None of them were women and so provided the trigger for some research.  As 2018 celebrated the centenary of the first votes for women it seemed apt to take the outcome of the research “on tour”.  Its first delivery was to the Huddersfield Geology Group in January 2018 but since then the content has increased though its thrust remains the same.  It investigates the struggle of women in the pursuit of recognition in what has been until very recently a male-dominated science.  As well as cataloguing the achievements of key figures from Mary Anning to the present day, the talk will highlight important social and academic changes that influenced women’s standing in the subject.  The final part of the talk will consider whether or not things have changed.  Not surprisingly, some women featured will be known to audiences (though not necessarily for geology) but many will be unfamiliar.

Paul Hildreth
Paul graduated in 1970 with degree in Geology from Birkbeck College, University of London, while working full-time at the Institute of Geological Sciences (now the BGS) in South Kensington. He left the survey and became a well-logger, and later well site geologist, on exploration drilling rigs, mainly overseas and for Shell including a 2-year contract in Japan and South Korea. Paul left the oil industry in 1975 to do a PGCE course at Hull University and entered the teaching profession. He retired from full-time teaching in 2005 but was offered a part-time post in Hull and taught in a Sixth Form college until 2011.  After retirement he persued his interest in the lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy of the Chalk. He joined the council of the Yorkshire Geological Society in 2007 and was elected President in 2018 and will serve for 2019-2020.