‘To dine with ladies smelling of dog’ - Celebrating 100 years of women physiologists

3 July 2015 marks the day when - 100 years ago - The Physiological Society formally admitted women as members. Although The Society, founded in 1876, had never explicitly excluded them, women members were not formally elected to The Society’s membership until July 1915, due to reservations amongst some men.

To commemorate this milestone, The Physiological Society has published a book highlighting the achievements and contributions of 20th and 21st century women physiologists.

Professor Susan Wray, co-editor of the book commented, ‘Women have - and will continue to - make significant contributions to science. This book offers an extensive collection of member portraits, past and present, and will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of women physiologists and other scientists.’

Dr Rachel Tribe, The Physiological Society Diversity Co-Lead and Reader in Women's Health at the King’s College London, added, ‘I am absolutely delighted that the centenary of the election of women members to The Physiological Society is being celebrated. The book profiles some wonderful early career and established scientists who are driving forward the discipline today. Ensuring we develop greater diversity in the scientific workforce will enrich the pool of talent, which is essential for progressing our understanding of human and animal physiology.'


Notes for Editors

1. Book details: Women physiologists: Centenary celebrations and beyond is edited by Susan Wray, Professor of  Physiology at the Institute Of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, and Tilli Tansey OBE, Professor of the History of Modern Medical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London; published by The Physiological Society in 2015. ISBN 978-0-9933410-0-7

2. The phrase ‘To dine with ladies smelling of dogs’ originates from a quote stated during a Society dinner in 1915, during which one Society member expressed his disapproval of women members by arguing that The Society was primarily ‘a dining society and it would be improper to dine with ladies’ smelling of dog (the men smelling of dog that is)

3. The Physiological Society brings together over 3,500 scientists from over 60 countries. The Society promotes physiology with the public and parliament alike. It supports physiologists by organising world-class conferences and offering grants for research and also publishes the latest developments in the field three leading scientific journals, The Journal of Physiology, Experimental Physiology and Physiological Reports. www.physoc.org



Dr Helga Groll, Media and Communications Officer, The Physiological Society

+44 (0)20 7269 5727, pressoffice@physoc.org