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In Our Time – Royal Society

By Jon Agar, on 13 January 2010

I contributed to the In Our Time series on the history of the Royal Society, which were broadcast 4-7 January. You can hear them again here. I’m in episode four, on the twentieth century.

Melvyn Bragg’s conversation with Simon Schaffer, Lisa Jardine, Keith Moore and myself was recorded around the very large table in the Royal Society council room. You can hear the echoes.

Unlike the regular In Our Time programmes, the Royal Society programmes were not live. This one was recorded just before christmas. The editing is interesting. We talked for an hour and this raw discussion is cut down and re-edited.

The main topic that did not the make cut – even though we discussed it in some detail – was the first elections of women FRSs, fellows of the Royal Society, starting with Marjory Stephenson, Kathleen Lonsdale and Agnes Arber. I’m surprised at the deletion, given its significance for the Royal Society in the twentieth century. Note, though, that even now only 5% of FRSs are female.

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