Made in Dundee
Williamina Fleming Plaque
Look at the building on your right. On its corner you will find a plaque. Stop here.
This is part of the Dundee Women's Trail and was put there to recognise the achievements of astronomer Williamina Fleming. The building it is attached to is the Ewing Building. This is partly where the Physics Department is based. The creators of the trail thought it an appropriate place for Willimina's plaque as "on the rooftops above her plaque you can see our modern technology searching the skies".
Williamina Fleming became an astronomer by accident. In 1878 she and her husband emigrated to Boston in the United States. After Williamina discovered that she was pregnant, she was abandoned by her husband. Thousands of miles away from friends and family, penniless and about to become a single parent, Williamina had a stroke of luck. She got a position as housekeeper to Edward Charles Pickering. That job would change her life, which she was maybe aware of even by the time her son was born – she named him after her employer.