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Dr Elizabeth Murchinson, Science Heirlooms, 2012

Elizabeth Murchison receives Suffrage Science heirloom

Elizabeth Murchison at the TED conference

Elizabeth Murchison speaking at the TED conference in Edinburgh, July 2011

Junior Research Fellow Dr Elizabeth Murchison received a Suffrage Science heirloom at the Science Museum's Dana Centre on 8 March.

The Suffrage Science project was launched last year by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to commemorate 100 years of women pioneers in life science.

Each year ten leading women from life science are given a jewellery heirloom designed by Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. After keeping the heirloom for a year, the recipients must pass it along to a nominee of their own choice from the life sciences, to encourage the new heir to develop her career.

The science broadcaster Vivenne Parry was given an heirloom last year and Elizabeth Murchison was her nominated recipient for this year.

Elizabeth gave a talk about her work at the ceremony on 8 March, and took part in a debate on 'Women in Science: Nurturing Nobels'. The debate discussed why so few women have won Nobel Prizes, and what can be done to encourage women scientists.

For details of the events see the MRC website.

Elizabeth studies transmissible cancers in Tasmanian devils. The Suffrage Science heirloom is the latest in a series of honours she has received. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious L'Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland For Women in Science Fellowship, and last year she was asked to give a talk at a TED conference. For more about Elizabeth and her work see her web page.

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The 2020 Marjory Stephenson Prize is awarded to Professor Julian Parkhill FRS, from the Dept of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge.

Professor Parkhill is known for his research on bacterial genomes, which he has worked on since the very earliest days of genomics. Initially analysing reference genomes for many important human and animal pathogens, his group moved on to comparative genomics and subsequently large-scale population genomics, as new technologies developed. Read more of this story on


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