Dame Mary Archer says girls’ schools enable women to become scientists

Girls’ schools enable women to become scientists because no one tells them they shouldn’t be in the laboratory, Dame Mary Archer has said.

Dame Mary is  chair of London’s Science Museum. She said she acquired her love of science at Cheltenham Ladies’ College where she was taught chemistry by the same teacher as Margaret Thatcher. In interview with the Evening Standard, she said: “Going to a single-sex school is quite a traditional route for women my age into science because nobody said ‘You shouldn’t do that, dear’.

Dame Mary came first in her year when she read chemistry at the University of Oxford, where women accounted for only eight per cent of students in her year group. She went on to become a lecturer at the University of Cambridge. She said that it’s important for today’s girls to understand that wearing a lab coat isn’t a sign of masculinity.

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