Dora Metcalf is now officially a ‘notable person’ with her own Wikipedia page. I don’t know exactly how the process works but the search engines look for reference to the person on several reputable websites. Over the last couple of years I have written guest blog posts for various organisations, including the Women Engineers’ History, Women in Tech and Science Ireland, Women Who Meant Business and the Women’s History Network. There is also the webinar I gave for The National Museum of Computing and, of course, there is this website that I created. I guess that must add up to enough reputable websites. I am thrilled that this has happened, not least because apparently only 19% of ‘notable people’ are women, according to Wiki Women in Red, a group of editors trying to correct the gender bias.
Dora’s page includes a reference to an article about the Davis Archive, which details all the female mathematicians from the 1870s through to 1940. I spoke to the creator of the archive about three years ago, AE Davis, and as a result spoke at the British Society for the History of Mathematics conference in 2021. I was sad to read in the article that Ms Davis had died at the end of 2020, but it was a phenomenal piece of work that she did and I salute her.
This week there was a report that plesiosaur fossils had been found in river systems in Morocco, implying their adaptation to a freshwater habitat. Previously it was believed they were marine animals only. The find gives greater credibility to the Loch Ness monster story and, by implication, to the Loch Morar monster, Morag. Dora and John claimed to have seen Morag on numerous occasions and I think they would be thrilled to hear this news!
Back in April I received feedback from a publisher that my novel about Dora is good, but not quite good enough for them to publish. I decided to employ a professional editor to help me improve it and since receiving his report I have been editing and redrafting. Writing a novel is a craft like any other and it needs training and practise to improve. I am gradually learning and I am pleased with the latest draft. It is slightly less true to life than before, mainly to give it a more dramatic ending, but I hope it will now attract some interest from the publishing industry.