February 15, 2024

On Thursday, February 15, at the Library Concepción Arenal, the professor of English philology at the University of León Trinidad Guzmán González presented the translation and interpretation of the memoirs of the Queen of Sciences, Mary Somerville (1780 -1872).

At the event she was accompanied by Professor María Paz García Rubio, who wrote the book's prologue, and Elena Vázquez-Cendón, dean of the USC Faculty of Mathematics. The Professor of Civil Law and member of our research group highlighted the thoroughness with which Guzmán translated and interpreted Somerville's writings, since the book contains numerous footnotes that adds explanatory data to enrich the already fabulous memoirs.

The Leonese author, Trinidad Guzmán, took a tour of the various scientific branches to which Mary Somerville contributed, and which were not limited to mathematics and astronomy, since the Scotswoman also painted, played the piano. Her contributions are very important, having published several books that have been used as manuals for entire generations of students of the time at Cambridge and Oxford. In addition, she was the first signatory of Stuart Mill's famous petition to the British Parliament asking for the vote for women.

For her part, the dean of the USC Faculty of Mathematics, Elena Vázquez-Cendón, highlighted the importance of Mary Somerville even today, in addition to recommending reading this edition of her memoirs due to the multitude of data that can be learned from it. She pointed out the interconnection that Somerville made, throughout his long life, of the different scientific branches she touched, claiming the necessary transversality of all scientific study. Mary Somerville was the first person to be described as a "scientist" for that interdisciplinary vision of knowledge. Professor Vázquez-Cendón also highlighted the importance of the social exchange of ideas, even in more relaxed environments than strictly academic ones.

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