My department is celebrating its 100th birthday with a symposium this week. One of the highlights of today’s talks was this snippet on lab safety from Marian Packham, who was a graduate student in the fifties. (In quotations, but I took quick notes so might be off by a few words.)
“Graduate students had to stay overnight to collect fractions from the chromatography column. At that time it was considered unthinkable that a female student should stay late at night, so they put me on a project with radioactive carbon instead.”
She also compiled a book on the history of the department. I bought it, and it’s pretty awesome. It even lists all the students who ever won an award at department poster days, and as a result my name is now mentioned in a book that also mentions Maud Menten, of Michaelis-Menten fame.