With regards to Roger Meachem’s letter (29 July) bemoaning the lack of women represented in our National Portrait Gallery’s Pioneers of Science collection, if he goes up to the second floor he will find many illustrious females – not least a painting of mathematician Mary Somerville by Thomas Phillips, who among other achievements influenced JMW Turner.
He will also find Mrs Isabella Smith of Jordanhill by John Graham-Gilbert. Although not a scientist herself her son, James Smith, was an FRS. There is, therefore, a suitable portrait of an appropriate lady. Although not a pioneering scientist, she is noteworthy as a prominent female.