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Nobel Prize-winning Beccles chemist could be the face of new £50

PUBLISHED: 13:23 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:44 28 November 2018

Dr Dorothy Hodgkin at Sir John Leman High School Prizegiving 1981. Photo: Archant.

Dr Dorothy Hodgkin at Sir John Leman High School Prizegiving 1981. Photo: Archant.

Archant

One of Beccles’ most famous exports could become the face of the new £50 note.

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin and her friend Norah Pusey in their chemistry class at Sir John Leman school in Beccles. Photo: Beccles Museum.Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin and her friend Norah Pusey in their chemistry class at Sir John Leman school in Beccles. Photo: Beccles Museum.

Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dorothy Hodgkin is among a host of big names from the world of science to make the initial list of nominations.

Earlier this year Bank of England governor Mark Carney revealed the new polymer note will celebrate British achievement in science.

Mrs Hodgkin is regarded as a pioneer in x-ray crystallography and won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1964 for her influential discoveries of the structure of penicillin and the structure of B12.

In 1968 she also deciphered the structure of insulin.

Beccles mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw. Picture: Nick ButcherBeccles mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw. Picture: Nick Butcher

Beccles mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw believes the former Sir John Leman High School pupil would make the perfect candidate for the new face of the note.

She said: “Her achievements were so extraordinary. She was one of the few women to make it and have an Oxbridge education at a time when that would have been very difficult.

“She also persuaded Sir John Leman High School to let her study science in the first place and was one of only two girls in the science glass.”

Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw added: “Her achievements were so great and directly help humankind now.

“The discovery of the structure of insulin benefits people’s lives everyday. Her achievements are really helpful and practical.”

Mrs Hodgkin is one of the bookies favourites to take the accolade but she faces tough competition from the likes of Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing and Charles Babbage.

For Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw the chemist is important not only for her scientific accomplishments but in her attitude and determination to fight for the oppressed.

The mayor added: “She went against the grain; she believed in equality for people and was hugely principled.

“She challenged views at the time of class, hierarchy and women’s place. By achieving she showed people what was possible.

“We think of her as being part of Beccles and I would love her to be recognised in this way.”

As part of her mayoral appeal Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw is raising £5,000 for a large slate wall mounted plaque of Hodkin’s profile in the centre of the town.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/elfredes-mayoral-appeal

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