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The Pictures on the Wall

The UK Royal Society is showing off portraits of British scientists, particularly women, as part of its Summer Science exhibition, the Guardian reports.

Uta Frith, a Royal Society fellow and professor at University College London, writes that women have long been nearly invisible in the portrait halls of the society — she notes that there are historical reasons, as the society began to admit women in 1945 and many portraits were of past presidents, or were donated. "Preparing for this exhibition made it strikingly clear that there is a void in representations of women in science. We particularly lack them in traditional forms…," she writes. "But we also lack them in contemporary media, such as inspiring installations or computer art."

The new exhibition includes loaned artwork as well as new, commissioned pieces. Frith adds that she hopes that such new images of female scientists will act as a "stereotype lift," indicating that women are successful in science.