English Heritage is calling on the public to nominate more notable scientists from history for London blue plaques. This will help the charity increase the number of scientists honoured across the capital by the scheme.
The call comes as English Heritage unveils a blue plaque to the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist, Abdus Salam, in Putney.
The Pakistani scientist’s work on electroweak theory contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson particle – the ‘God particle’ which gives everything mass. Salam was also active in improving the status of science in developing countries in general and in Pakistan in particular.
Salam joins Charles Darwin, Rosalind Franklin and Alan Turing among the scientists with blue plaques. However within the London Blue Plaques scheme, science is an underrepresented field with only around 15% of the 950 plus blue plaques across the capital dedicated to scientists.
The scheme relies on nominations so if there is to be an increase in the number of blue plaques to scientists on the streets of the capital, English Heritage needs more suggestions from the public of figures who lived or worked in London.
Rebekah Higgitt, English Heritage Blue Plaques Panel member and Principal Curator of Science at National Museums Scotland, said:
‘This year the importance of scientists and their work has become abundantly clear. And yet we have relatively few blue plaques to physicists, chemists, biologists and other scientific figures, reflecting the scheme’s historic bias towards celebrating the arts over the sciences.
‘We want to see more blue plaques to such brilliant and inspiring figures as Abdus Salam but we need the public’s help. Please, send us your suggestions for scientific figures and their associated buildings, and help us mark their achievements and links to the city.’