Study with us
The Churchill Archives Centre is proud to hold the scientific papers and personal correspondence of Lise Meitner (1878-1968), who, according to the inscription on her gravestone, was a physicist who never lost her humanity.
In honour of Meitner, who was the second woman with a doctorate in physics in Vienna and the first female professor of physics in Germany, the Archives Centre is holding a one-day symposium in January. The symposium will feature three panels that will explore Meitner’s life and work as well as her scientific achievements and her political legacy.
Panellists include Dr Graham Farmelo, David Rennert, Professor Ruth Lewin Sime, Dr Annette Vogt, Professor Dame Athene Donald, Georgina Ferry, Professor Valerie Gibson, Professor Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke, Tanja Traxler, Dr Helen Curry, Professor Sir Roy Calne, Stefan Frankenberger and Sandra Schüddekopf.
The symposium will be held in the Wolfson Hall, Churchill College.
For all enquiries please contact Amanda Jones, Archives Administrator. T: 01223 336166.
Panel 1: The life and work of Lise Meitner
Who was Lise Meitner, and what did she do?
Dr Graham Farmelo (Science writer and historian) (Chair)
David Rennert (Science Editor, Der Standard)
Professor Ruth Lewin Sime (Meitner biographer)
Dr Annette Vogt (Meitner biographer)
Panel 2: The Scientific and Political Legacy of Lise Meitner
Why should she be remembered? How does her work influence the science of today and what are the practical applications to have come out of her research? What lessons does her life teach us about overcoming exclusion on grounds of gender and race?
Professor Dame Athene Donald (Master, Churchill College & Professor of Experimental Physics, Cavendish Laboratory) (Chair)
Georgina Ferry (Science writer)
Professor Valerie Gibson (High Energy Physics, Cavendish Laboratory)
Professor Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke (Freie Universität, Berlin)
Tanja Traxler (Science Editor, Der Standard)
Panel 3: Humanity and Science
Humanity and science – What does the inscription on her gravestone really mean? What is it about Meitner that is inspiring art and theatre as well as science?
Dr Helen Curry (Senior Lecturer in History of Modern Science & Technology, University of Cambridge) (Chair)
Professor Sir Roy Calne (surgeon, writer and artist)
Stefan Frankenberger (author of audio book on Meitner’s theology)
Sandra Schüddekopf (Theatre director)
A play about women and research.
Radiation. Nuclear fission. Frequency hopping.
Three outstanding pioneers represent the achievements of women in the field of science and technology: Double Nobel Prize winner and discoverer of radioactivity Marie Curie (1867-1934), Austrian-Swedish nuclear physicist Lise Meitner (1878-1968) and Viennese Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) with her invention of frequency hopping. Anecdotes from their lives, achievements and obstacles as well as the contents of their research and the passion for their work are at the centre of the play "Curie_Meitner_Lamarr_indivisible". Directed by Sandra Schüddekopf, with Anita Zieher impersonating the three women, the play is available for bookings in German or English. Complemented by music and videos with three girls asking pertinent questions the play is an entertaining portrait of extraordinary women in history.
"Zieher delivers a brilliant performance in the roles... it is a theatre evening with many claims: it should be informative, amusing and encouraging - the team of portraittheater indeed succeeded in all of that." (European Cultural News)
"How often do you have the chance to acquaint you so hands-on with the biography of three extraordinary women and to learn something about radioactivity?... Zieher and her team manage it in an entertaining and vivid way to bring elementary questions like 'what happens at the fission' or 'who is the discoverer of it' closer to the audience.... Conclusion: An informative and amusing evening with a wink." (Vienna International)
"Anita Zieher, who plays all three women, impresses with her performance..." (Progressonline)
portraittheater focuses on extraordinary persons, especially women, and brings their life and work to the stage. Various programmes (since 2006) i.e. about Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Bertha von Suttner and George Sand.
Sandra Schüddekopf lives as a freelance director in Vienna. Over the period from 2001-2005, she worked as an assistant director at Burgtheater, where she also staged plays herself. Further performances at Schauspielhaus Graz, Munich Kammerspiele, the Schauspielhaus Vienna and at the Mainz State Theatre, where she won the director's prize in 2009. A special focus of her work is new dramatic and adaptions of novels.
Anita Zieher lives as a freelance actress in Vienna. After studying politics and communication in Salzburg she attended an acting school in Vienna. In the previous productions of portraittheater, she played Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Bertha von Suttner and George Sand as well as Marie Curie, Lise Meitner and Hedy Lamarr. As chairwoman of the association, she is also responsible for the production management. She won many prizes in theatre as an improvisation player and comedian (Zieher&Leeb).