Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and the Marsh Biography Award
Dorothy Hodgkin (1910–1994) was renowned for her important work on penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin. Fully engaged with the political and social currents of her time, she participated in some of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century: women's education; the globalisation of science; the rise and fall of communism; and international peace movements. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964 for her work in protein crystallography and remains the only British woman to have won a Nobel Prize in the sciences to date. She was Margaret Thatcher's tutor at Oxford, and lobbied Thatcher against the use of nuclear weapons. Thatcher, meanwhile, had a portrait of Hodgkin up in Downing Street.
A wife, mother and grandmother, she cared deeply about the well-being of individuals in all cultures, and is a long-standing role model for women in STEM. She used some of her Nobel Prize winning money to set up a nursery at Somerville College, Oxford, to help other women in continue their work and studies in science. Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life is the definitive biography of one of Britain's most brilliant and unique scientists.