Alice Lee and discrediting the andocentric assumptions of craniology : Victorian Woman of Science

Cogpunk Steamscribe

A Victorian-era Illustration made to support the Pseudoscience of Craniology

Oh, Alice Lee suffered all the trials and tribulations of being a female scientist in the Victorian era. Her results were denigrated, refused publication, and she was even accused of taking credit for male colleagues’ work. But she is an excellent example of how one scientist can change the course of history, by sticking to the facts.

Alice Lee’s field of research was craniometry, which is the measurement of skulls, and from that, the measurement of the size of brains. Craniology was part of the study the morphology of the human body. Using craniology, Victorian-era  anthropologists made hypotheses about the attributes that can be linked to race and sex. Women have smaller skulls than men, which means smaller brains, and so it was assumed women had smaller intellects. Alice Lee decided this was her field of study, and investigated the link between intelligence and brain…

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