The Almost Forgotten Story of Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh

The woman beside the father of chemistry.

Every aspiring chemist has heard of Boyle’s law—the equation that relates the pressure of a gas to its volume. But even if you know about Robert Boyle himself, it’s not likely you’ve heard of his sister, even though she probably talked him through many of his ideas.

Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh (1615–1691), had a lifelong influence on her famous younger brother, natural philosopher Robert Boyle. In her lifetime she was recognized by many for her scientific knowledge, but her story was almost lost to time.

This episode is a collaboration with Poncie Rutsch, the creator and host of Babes of Science. Poncie interviewed CHF’s own Michelle DiMeo, a historian who’s writing a book about Lady Ranelagh. Babes of Science is a podcast that tries to answer two questions: Who are the women who changed the trajectory of science? And why has it taken us so long to recognize their work?


Hosts: Michal Meyer and Bob Kenworthy
Reporter and producer: Poncie Rutsch
Senior ProducerMariel Carr
ProducerRigoberto Hernandez


Our theme music was composed by Zach Young. 

Additional music courtesy of the Free Music Archive