Holding Hands with Bacteria

The Life and Work of Marjory Stephenson

  • Soňa Štrbáňová

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science book series (BRIEFSMOLECULAR)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs in History of Chemistry book sub series (BRIESFHISTCHEM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Soňa Štrbáňová
    Pages 1-11
  3. Soňa Štrbáňová
    Pages 13-24
  4. Soňa Štrbáňová
    Pages 25-44
  5. Soňa Štrbáňová
    Pages 77-85
  6. Soňa Štrbáňová
    Pages 87-105
  7. Soňa Štrbáňová
    Pages 107-118
  8. Soňa Štrbáňová
    Pages 119-124
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 125-145

About this book


This biographical brief outlines the remarkable life and career of British biochemist, Marjory Stephenson (1885-1948). In nine concise chapters, Štrbáňová describes Stephenson's scientific accomplishments and sets these against the socio-political challenges of the time. Stephenson played an important role in the development of biochemistry and molecular biology. She was one of the first scientists to use microorganisms as models for research into cellular biochemical processes and their regulation. Later she went on to coin the term chemical microbiology, which was communicated in her monograph and textbook "Bacterial Metabolism" (1930-1949). Stephenson also actively participated in the establishment of the institutionalized interdisciplinary field of general microbiology which integrated research into diverse forms of microorganisms at various levels of organization. Alongside these scientific achievements, Štrbáňová outlines Stephenson's constant battle with practices of undeclared discrimination, her important role as one of the first women science managers  and organizers, and her influential position within the scientific community. A scientist of great merit and a role model to women scientists of all disciplines, the life of Marjory Stephenson is of interest to biochemists, molecular biologists, historians of the chemical and biological sciences, and women scientists of all generations.


Cambridge University Department of Biochemistry Chemical Microbiology F. G. Hopkins History of Biochemistry History of Enzymology History of Molecular Biology Medical Research Council Royal Society Society of General Microbiology Women in Science Bacterial Metabolism Cellular Metabolism

Authors and affiliations

  • Soňa Štrbáňová
    • 1
  1. 1.of the Czech RepublicAcademy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Chemistry and Materials Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-662-49734-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-662-49736-4
  • Series Print ISSN 2191-5407
  • Series Online ISSN 2191-5415
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