Richard Wilson, a Pharaoh, and the representation of women at the Royal Society of Edinburgh (Rousse)

Richard Wilson remembered me from the days that we shared a lane in the Glenogle swimming pool. He therefore greeted me as a friend in the members’ room of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The actor and I were both impressed by the American sociology professor who reminded us of our other swimming companion of that time. He even knew the name of the rather large former friend: Pharaoh.

Meanwhile, in the debating hall, preparations were underway for a big meeting of the fellows. I could tell that something unusual was afoot when I took my seat. Between dropping and retrieving pens that seemed to leap unaided from my pencil case to the floor, I observed the proceedings.

In the middle of an older man’s speech around eight woman rose from their seats, singing. At first I thought that they were simply dressed in school uniform with their pale blue shirts and dark ties. However, the Suffragette purple, green and white of their gowns gave away that they were here to make a point about the representation of women in the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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