With less than two weeks to go before our special suffrage centenary event takes off at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London on 21st June, we’ve got the latest info on our speakers and programme. We’ve got intriguing, untold stories from contemporary explorers, academic research presentations, and film footage from women sharing their experiences in some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging environments. Tickets are selling fast, so make sure you don’t miss out!
The RGS: An Epic Journey
To open the conference, Dr Sarah Evans, of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), will be presenting her own PhD research into the historical participation of women within this prestigious organisation. Sarah will give a whirlwind tour of the female geographers, explorers, and scientists who have interacted with, and contributed to the research of the society since its inception. From debates on fellowship in the 1890s, to pivotal expeditions in the 1970s, Sarah’s talk will cover a wide time period, an exciting range of extreme environments, and many courageous women.
Nellie Bly in the sky!
Let’s not forget Women’s Adventure Expo’s very own Rosemary J Brown, who will be speaking about the wonderful Nellie Bly, an american journalist who beat the fictional record set by Jules Verne`s Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, by completing her own round-the-world trip in just 72 days in 1889! 125 years later, Rosemary set out to follow Nellie’s inspirational footsteps, and completed her own circuit of the globe. Both women travelled alone, taking just one small suitcase for the journey. Admittedly, Rosemary took a few twenty-first century shortcuts here and there; choosing to take advantage of planes rather than Nellie’s choice of ocean liners and trains. In fact, Rosemary raced to finish line, completing her epic 22,500-mile journey in 32 days. Both of these intrepid women wrote memoirs of their journeys, who better than Rosemary Brown to tell us the tale of Nellie Bly, and explain why she is still known today as one of the world’s top ten female adventurers.
Finding the Forgotten Adventurers
Our next speaker, Dr Vanessa Heggie, of the University of Birmingham, is a historian of science, technology and medicine. Vanessa has published numerous works, and at the heritage event, she will discuss some of her latest research which has shed light on the women whose important roles in scientific expeditions were hidden for many years. Vanessa will introduce explorers such as Nea Morin, well-known as a climber, but unheard of for her contributions to cardiological studies in the Himalayan region. Vanessa will also share her findings on important antarctic studies, many of which were authored by other forgotten female scientists whose crucial skills have long gone unrecognised! Hearing how these women were lost and found will certainly help us uncover more stories and learn more in the future.
Determination and Inspiration: The Story of Junko Tabei
A shining light of mountaineering, Junko Tabei climbed many of the world’s most challenging peaks and led expeditions in an age when all the odds were against her. Jo Bradshaw, an accomplished mountaineer in her own right, will explore Junko’s extraordinary life, from start to finish, focussing on the buildup to her victory as the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and her influence on the development of women’s mountaineering.
Registration for ‘The Heritage of Women in Exploration’ includes a complimentary ticket to ‘Women in the Polar Regions’ evening talk. Register before time runs out! Don’t miss out on this unique event on 21st June 2018.