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Doris Mackinnon: Investigating the microscopic

Hannah LCornish8 March 2018

Today is International Women’s Day, this year it is 100 years since the first group of women got the right to vote in the UK, and UCL is celebrating with a programme of events and exhibitions called Vote 100. What better time to share a story from the Grant Museum about one of the pioneering female academics who worked at UCL. I took this opportunity to investigate the woman behind one part of our collection. High on the balcony in the Grant Museum are a pair of ever so slightly dusty microscope slide cabinets containing around 400 slides. Each cabinet bears a little brass plaque that reads –

The Doris Livingston Mackinnon Collection of Protozoa

University College London

Who was Doris Mackinnon, and why is her collection here? Protozoa are not animals, so they are an unusual inclusion in a zoology museum. It was all a bit of a mystery until I started digging into it, here’s what I found out.

Photograph of Doris Mackinnon in her lab © University of Dundee Archive Services

Photograph of Doris Mackinnon in her lab © University of Dundee Archive Services

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