Conclusion: A Career in Retrospect
Would Mary Somerville have achieved more, and gone on to make major scientific discoveries, had she been able to go to university, hold down a job, and become the Professorial Director of some research institute? Richard Anthony Proctor, her Royal Astronomical Society obituarist in 1872, lamented that the social proprieties of her day had made it impossible for Mary to really achieve her potential as a planetary dynamicist, while Dr. Mary Brück, in her excellent and perceptive biographical article, styled her a ‘mathematician and astronomer of underused talents.
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