Using the above arrows click right to read the book page-by-page, or download a PDF version (35MB) or plain text version.

The book tells the story of how the University of Edinburgh’s female scientists have fought for equality, from Sophia Jex-Blake and the ‘Edinburgh Seven”, the street riots of the 1870s and the ensuing decades-long campaign to matriculate alongside the men.

The story then focuses in on the School of Chemistry, bringing us up to present day and to trailblazers such as Prof. Lesley Yellowlees, the first female president of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In 2012 the School of Chemistry received the Athena Swan Gold Award in recognition of its significant and sustained progression in promoting diversity and gender equality. A Chemical Imbalance speaks to those involved and looks at what can be learnt from what they have achieved.

The book was written by Cameron Conant, and designed by Hamlin Daniels.

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and why we care

Prof. Polly Arnold

Polly is the Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, and the executive producer of A Chemical Imbalance.

The Filmmakers

This is the first collaboration between filmmakers Siri Rødnes and Marie Lidén, both of whom are Edinburgh College of Art alumni.

The Author

Cameron Conant is an American writer and journalist with a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh.