Top scientist’s daughter opens new school laboratory

Elizabeth Hodgkin, daughter of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, unveils the plaque dedicated to her mother at Sir John Leman High School's new science lab Elizabeth Hodgkin, daughter of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, unveils the plaque dedicated to her mother at Sir John Leman High School's new science lab

Friday, July 18, 2014
7:00 AM

A-level students from a Beccles school have ended a year-long heritage project by meeting a leading figure from the family they were researching.

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Director of science, Cimone Bedward, with Beccles mayor Caroline Topping and Elizabeth Hodgkin inside the new science lab.Director of science, Cimone Bedward, with Beccles mayor Caroline Topping and Elizabeth Hodgkin inside the new science lab.

History pupils from Sir John Leman High School have been taking part in Time Team, Your Town, a partnership between the Centre of East Anglian Studies at the University of East Anglia and a collection of schools to encourage and develop the relevance of history linked to the areas in which they live.

Sam Kenward, Lauren Peach, Lucy Howson, Harry Lindow and Lucy Allington researched the impact of the Crowfoot family on the town over the past 300 years, including the mayorships, the development of the hospital and changes in medicine.

They put particular emphasis on Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, who has both a road and school in Beccles named after her.

And on Tuesday they met her daughter Elizabeth Hodgkin who visited the school in Ringsfield Road to view the brochure and exhibition the students have produced and to open the new science lab, which is dedicated to her mother.

Alison Copeman, school enterprise manager, said: “We are sincerely grateful to the support of the Crowfoot family who have helped the students ensure the brochure they have produced is an accurate account.

“We are delighted that Dorothy’s daughter Elizabeth was able to attend and kindly agreed to open the new Dr Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Science Laboratory.”

In her speech to pupils, Elizabeth talked about how young people should make the most of opportunities that are available to them, comparing how her mother and her mother’s friend, Norah Pusey, who were the only girls in their chemistry class at Sir John Leman Grammar School in 1920s, followed quite different career paths.

During their project, students created a display about Dorothy’s life after a visit from Professor Andrew Thomson from the UEA who talked to them about molecular modelling. They also produced a brochure on the Crowfoot family, which includes a tourist trail of the many buildings in Beccles that were connected to the family. The brochure will be available at Beccles Museum, Beccles Library and at the school.

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