Women in Early Genetics

This is an ongoing project.

Faculty Researcher: Marsha Richmond

Contact Details

Marsha Richmond


I am working with a colleague at Vrije University in Amsterdam on a book on the History of Women in Genetics, 1900-1940. The general aim of this project is to document women's participation in the sciences after the opening of higher education to women, providing them access to formal scientific training. This particular project seeks to identify the primary articles written by women who worked as research associates at two major research institutes in genetics-- the Cold Spring Harbor Department of Genetics (Long Island, New York) and also the John Innes Horticultural Institute (outside London, England). By collecting the publications of women at CSH and the Innes, I will be able to get a picture of the kinds of research women performed, and hence data about their overall contributions to the research agenda of their respective institutes. In so doing, we will be able to clarify women’s roles in the research that is otherwise generally attributed to the (male) department head. This has traditionally served to render women invisible in science. I would welcome assistance with the process, and the student would be acknowledged in the book when it is published.


Familiarity with science is helpful but not essential. Interest in the history of women is desirable, as well as basic bibliographic and research skills.

Project Timeline

The project is ongoing, with late Fall 2014 as the target date for the manuscript's completion.


Students would be given a list of women who worked in either plant or animal genetics (my particular area of study) and would use databases to locate articles. They would then identify which ones are available at WSU (either electronic or paper), and if no electronic copy is available, students would order a copy via ILL. If possible, students would also search for any biographical information that may be available on individual women.

Project-related Tags

Last Updated

December 5, 2013