Mar 022024

Christina Miller Building, 75 James Dewar Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3BG

A modern building constructed of brick at the bottom and grey and turquoise panelling higher up.  There is a stone path leading to glass door.  At the start of the path is a short blue sign reading “Christina Miller Building”.

Christina Miller (1899 – 2001) was a Scottish chemist and the first female chemist to be elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Miller suffered from various childhood illnesses which caused severe damage to her hearing, and as a result many career pathways were closed to her. However, she decided to study chemistry at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University. She graduated with a special distinction, the class medal and the Vans Dunlop Scholarship. Miller went on to pursue a PhD, and her work was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. Post-PhD, Miller obtained the first ever sample of pure phosphorus trioxide and became so successful in her field that she obtained a Doctor of Science (DSc) before the age of 30.  She was one of the first women to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1949. Her vast contributions to chemistry are honoured by the Christina Miller Building in the King’s Buildings at the University of Edinburgh.

Old black and white photo of a woman with short dark hair and dark eyes wearing a graduation gown and holding a diploma.

Christina Miller, graduation photo, 1920s
Old black and white photo of a dark-haired woman in a white lab coat working a chemistry lab full of glass equipment visible in the light from a large window.

Christina Miller in the chemistry lab, 1930s


Additional link:

Feb 292024

Marion Ross Road, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3DL

A short white street sign on two legs that says Marion Ross Road.  The sign is in front of a paved brick circle and trees.

Marion Ross (1903 – 1994) was a Scottish physicist and a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. She published pioneering work in x-ray crystallography and made significant contributions to fluid dynamics. During the Second World War, Ross led a Rosyth-based team in the Admiralty who were working on underwater acoustics. After the war she returned to Edinburgh as a lecturer and became one of the first women admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Ross was awarded a Readership Emeritus by the University of Edinburgh in recognition of her extensive contributions to physics, and both a physics prize and a road in Edinburgh’s King’s Buildings are named after her.

A black and white photo (circa 1940s-1950s) of a dark-haired, strong-featured woman,  wearing a suit and skirt and sitting in a chair as part of a group photo.

Marion Ross, cropped from group photo
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh
Scientific diagram (black and white) of a 3d cuboid with circles and interconnecting lines drawn on it.  It is labelled with ‘mirror plane’ and ‘spinel block’.

Crystal Structure of Beta Alumina, diagram from one of Ross’s publications, 1937
Beavers & Ross, 1937, via Semantic


Additional links: