New at Rosetta Stones: The Founding Mother of Modern Geology You Probably Don’t Know

We’ve got our next Pioneering Woman in the Geosciences up: Mary Horner Lyell. Yes, married to that Lyell. Some of you may not have known she was a fine scientist in her own right. It was hard finding information on her, but I did manage to draw together enough for a sketch, and I think you’ll like her quite as much as I do. Go introduce yourselves.


  1. rq says

    How unfair! But how much a product of the times. I wonder, though, how much of Charles’ work was actually his? Not to say that he stole from his wife, but a lot of great ideas gain much from a good dose of collaboration. But I suppoes, if a woman becomes the property of her husband upon marriage, then her ideas, too, belong to him, and don’t need to be referred back to her.
    I know she’s not a geologist, but this article rather strongly reminded me of Mozart’s sister. She got all the same education and acknowlegements while still unmarriageable, but completely lost a separate identity upon marriage.
    Today, such stories just feel sad.
    And Mary Horner Lyell is no less amazing for having her accomplishments in the shadow of her husband.

  2. Trebuchet says

    I had to look up conchology, as I’d never seen the term before. Although I had guessed correctly what it meant, I still learned something. Any day you learn something is a good day.

  3. lyle says

    I found another geologic couple more recently. John Sutton and Janet Watson. Here are links to their Wikipedia pages:
    Janet was president of the Geological Society of London 1982-1984.
    Interestingly here wikipedia page is longer than his.
    Together they were one of the leaders in suggesting that plate tectonics predates the break of PanGea. Using evidence from Scotland among other places. The are written up in Supercontinent.