IN 1883 Glasgow was the focus of world attention but for two very different reasons.

On July 3, SS Daphne sank moments after her launch at Alexander Stephen and Son's shipyard in Govan with the devastating loss of 124 lives.

Three months later, the Boys Brigade was founded in Glasgow creating the first ever youth organisation.

That same year a baby was born in the city who would go on to create history - yet few people have heard of her.

When she left school, Muriel Robertson attended Glasgow University and began to study protozoa which is type of single celled organism.

She spent most of her career working at the Lister Institute in London but spent time in Sri Lanka, which was then called Ceylon, where she began her ground breaking research in infection in reptiles and mammals.

Sleeping sickness is still a big problem in certain countries and Muriel's work advanced researchers' understanding of the disease.

It is still an active area of research in Glasgow where scientists are looking for new ways to prevent and control the disease.

Despite her success, there is no statue in her home city to mark her pioneering work.

In Glasgow, only three public statues of women exist and they are Queen Victoria, Isabella Elder and Dolores Ibarruri.

But a statue of Muriel could soon have pride of place in Glasgow thanks to a project led by Glasgow Science Festival and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It recognised that while Scottish male scientists like James Watt and Joseph Black are well recognised little has been done to celebrate unsung Scottish female scientists.

The Monumental project has been asking the public to nominate and vote for women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics whose contributions have helped make Scotland a powerhouse of science and innovation.

It is presently in the consultation phase and people are being asked to share their thoughts and ideas at public events and through an online survey.

Another nominee is Charlotte Auerbach who was born in 1899 and fled Germany for Edinburgh where she investigated DNA damage which is important in cancer and other diseases leading to the development of new medicines.

A consultation event been organised at St Matthew's Centre in Possil Park on September 30 and another at Glasgow Doors Open Day festival hub at a date to be confirmed.

Dr Deborah McNeill, Glasgow Science Festival director said: "The contributions of women to science and society have been overlooked throughout history.

"Through Monumental, we hope to do a little to redress this balance by uncovering some of the lesser known gems who helped make Scotland the powerhouse of science and engineering it is today."

Other women in the running to have a statue erected in their honour are mathematician Marion Gray and chemist Elizabeth Fulhame.

Marion, who was born in Ayr in 1902, spent most of her life in the United States working with large companies and made an important discovery which is still cited by scientists today.

Little is known the early life of chemist Elizabeth Fulhame who published a book in 1794 called An Essay on Combustion.

It was the work of a skilled scientist but was criticised by male colleagues who thought she was exceeding her bounds as a woman.

Experts elsewhere disagreed and her book was translated into German and was republished in Philadelphia where she was elected an honorary member of the Philadelphia Chemical Society.

The Monumental project will run into next year to allow the public to make as many suggestions as possible about women they feel should be recognised.

A shortlist will eventually be drawn up and the public will be asked to nominate their favourites.

The project will culminate in Monumental Life with four custom built statues of female Scottish scientists popping up across Glasgow and beyond in the summer of 2018.

Lucy Casot, head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland said: "We are pleased to support Monumental in its plans to involve people of all ages, offering them the chance and to contribute to and enjoy an important part of our history."

For more information visit the website www.glasgowscience