A Connection Between Vitamin B12 and Iron?
Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994) is known for her painstaking work over 13 years that led to the characterization of vitamin B12. This earned her the Nobel Prize in 1964, but she had also earned a reputation for creating a work environment that was extremely egalitarian and collaborative. All the women and men working with her were treated as equals and this engendered tremendous loyalty and productivity. This was also demonstrated in her habit of frequently publishing her groundbreaking scientific discoveries as co-author with her protégés. The credit that her co-workers received stood them in very good stead in their future careers and became pioneers in science. One of Dorothy's students who wrote her fourth-year dissertation on X-ray crystallography (the method used to work out the molecular structure of B12) graduated in 1947 and then went to work for the British Xylonite Plastics company as an industrial chemist. It was there that she joined a union, became interested in politics and ended up her career as British Prime Minister, Margaret Roberts Thatcher - the Iron Lady.