Margaret Dampier Anderson, née Dampier-Whetham, was a daughter of Sir William Cecil Dampier-Whetham and his wife Catherine Durning Holt. She earned her M.A. at Cambridge University and then went into research in biochemistry. In 1927, she married Dr. Alan Bruce Anderson, a clinical pathologist, with whom she had five children. She co-authored several scholarly papers under her birth name with colleague Marjory Stephenson, and also wrote numerous articles for journal, magazines, and newspapers. When she was 60, she began working as a freelance scientific indexer and compiled indexes for some 567 books, both scientific and nonscientific. She also wrote several books of her own, including Through the Microscope (1965).