Nightingale Bicentenary planning meeting

At the Royal Statistical Society, 12 March 2018

Present: Richard Bates, Robert Dingwall, Yuko Leung, Lynn McDonald,  Eileen Magnello, Jonathan Menem, Chris Pettet, Pat Smedley, Alex Whitehead

Regrets: Mark Bostridge, Stephanie Davies (Leeds), Sapiah Binti Abdul Hadi (Malaysia)Joan Thomson (N. Ireland),

University of Nottingham project on Nightingale for 2020:

Directed by Paul Crawford. The two post-doctoral fellows, Richard Bates and Jonathan Menem, are working for this project described it to us: it is an ambitious and well-funded, three-year project on Nightingale relating to the Nottingham area. We will co-operate in all possible ways with it.

Nightingale Bicentenary Plans:

Eileen Magnello reported on the work to date of the wider Bicentenary committee, chaired by David Green, the new director of the Florence Nightingale Museum. She is particularly working towards a major exhibition and meeting at the Science Museum, London, as well as a one-day meeting at the Royal Statistical Society.

Reports were given on initiatives in planning for Australia, via a report from Marilyn Gendek, and for Canada, from Carolyn Edgar. The Rev Chris Pettet, Vicar at Nightingale’s church in Wellow, Hampshire (where she is buried) reported on their project of a new window in her honour at the church. They regularly hold a commemorative service at the time of her birthday.

Lynn McDonald reported on the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation conference, held on the preceding week-end in London (she was giving a paper). The conference provided an opportunity to renew contacts with Commonwealth nurses and midwives from the conference of 2016, and to let many active nurses and midwives know about our group and plans for the Bicentenary.

Objectives for the Bicentenary: we agreed on our objective being a celebration of Nightingale’s work not fixed on the past, but flagging her ongoing relevance. She was, as well as the major founder of the modern profession of nursing, a pioneer of evidence-based health care, safer hospital architecture, health promotion and access to quality health care for all, regardless of ability to pay. Her work in statistics makes her a model for girls to go into maths and stats; she supported suffrage, education and economic opportunities for women, again ongoing issues.