Marjory Stephenson was one of Newnham's most distinguished scientists - and yet she is one of the least known. Discover a pioneering biochemist in this short film by Dr Birgitta Olofsson

Marjory Stephenson (NC 1903) was a pioneer in the emerging field of biochemistry: the boundary between living things and the chemistry of molecular reactions. Her work was concerned with the fundamental processes of all life, and her work on the existence and actions of enzymes in bacteria turned out to apply to almost all living organisms.

She was one of the first two women to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society – and yet her career started as a teacher of ‘domestic science’, focusing on nutrition and hygiene. During the First World War, she worked as a cook in France and Macedonia, finally becoming Chief Commandant of the VAD Forces there, for which she was awarded both an MBE and the Associate Royal Red Cross medal. These experiences turned her into an ardent pacifist. She was an inspiring, forthright woman, a lover of good food and one who appreciated life’s pleasures.

Discover this complex woman and her legacy in this short film.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Dr Birgitta Olofsson is a scientist, former Director of Studies in Biology and Bye-Fellow of Newnham College, turned film maker after a Digital Filmmaking course at Hills Road College. She collaborates with Jonnie Howard Film and has produced several films with a focus on scientists and their life stories. She particularly seeks to promote women researchers, both historical and contemporary. Most of all she wants to tell a story: vivid, compelling and unique.

Going live on this webpage over the Festival weekend