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Annie Hutton Numbers (1897–1988)

Chemist and teacher.

Photograph of Annie Hutton Numbers

Annie Hutton Numbers was a scientist, teacher and lifelong-learner. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1918 with the degree of MA (Hons) in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. In 1917 she joined the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, where she was a member for 16 years. After completing her undergraduate studies, Annie enrolled on a course of professional training, to become a Specially Qualified Teacher of Science in Intermediate and Secondary Schools. 

In 1920, Annie graduated from University of Edinburgh again, this time with a BSc in both Mathematics and Chemistry. Throughout the final stages of her degrees, Annie worked as an assistant in the chemistry laboratories, and was appointed Assistant Lecturer and Demonstrator in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. While part of the university staff, Annie completed a PhD in Chemistry. In 1926, she was awarded a PhD for the thesis The Influence of Substituents on the Optical Rotatory Power of Compounds.

Between the years of 1926 and 1928, Annie co-authored a number of papers for publication in the Journal of the Chemical Society. She left her post at the Department to become a secondary-school teacher in Ipswich. In just a handful of years, she achieved the status of Senior Science Mistress. Annie retired from teaching in 1965.

​​​​​​​Her work was characterised by method and efficiency. Her accurate knowledge and skilful manipulation combined with a flair for teaching made her an ideal instructress. […] With both staff and students Dr. Numbers was persona grata.

Dr. John E. MacKenzieReader in chemistry at the University of Edinburgh

Related links

Anne Hutton Numbers Wikipedia article

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