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A theatre show for young audiences about the life and work of pioneering Irish chemist,

Kathleen Lonsdale.


Dr Kathleen Lonsdale was the pioneering Irish chemist who proved that the Benzene ring is flat by using x-ray diffraction methods. One of the first female Fellows of the Royal Society and winner of the Davey Medal in 1957, Dr Lonsdale was also (in no particular order) a tenured professor, a mother of three, a vegan before it was cool, a former inmate of Holloway Prison, a pacifist, a Quaker, and an activist. In other words, a scientist and citizen vastly ahead of her contemporaries. Indeed, her excellent 1970 speech entitled Women in Science could easily have been written five, instead of fifty, years ago.  In the public consciousness, however, she is curiously unknown.


The Lonsdale Project seeks to rectify this.  Super Paua want to tells Lonsdale’s story (and the story of hexamethylbenzane) through an accessible theatre piece for teenagers aged 11+.  Portraying the hugeness and beauty of microscopic worlds theatrically, we hope to move the field of X-ray Crystallography from the incomprehensible to the humorous, the visual, the wonderful, and bring Kathleen’s story and legacy to a new generation of scientists and citizens.

The Lonsdale Project

Click on the Hexamethylbenzene molecule to learn more about her life and work!

1200px-Hexamethylbenzene.svg kathleen download

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