IF “SCIENCE IS PART OF THE REALITY OF LIVING; it is the what, the how, and the why of everything in our experience.” Then why have the pages of history selectively or conveniently been minimized and/or omitted the accomplishments of women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field? HEADSTRONG – 52 Women who Changed Science – and the World by Rachel Swaby.
HEADSTRONG shares little-known history facts about 52 women from various ethnicities and countries across the globe who changed the world we live with their trailblazing contributions. For example, these women were American, Czech, British, African-American, German, French, Italian, Austrian, Chinese, Danish, Canadian and Russian.
THESE MINI BIOGRAPHIES “Include only scientists whose life’s work have already been completed.” While the profiles showcase that “Opportunities for white women in STEM fields opened up before they did for women of color,” there were still women of color who were able to make an impact.
IT IS AMAZING how many times “Other scientists profited greatly from [women’s] work, but because of [their] class and gender, the academic discussions sparked by [their] findings oftentimes excluded [them].” For all of their accomplishments “Women rarely rose to posts as prestigious as professors.” Many of their male peers recognized their worth, but society wasn’t ready in the early 20th century to give women the same respect.
THOUGHTS for your SOUL:
- “Either a woman is a good scientist or she is not; in anywise she should be given opportunities, and her work should be studied from the scientific, not the sex, point of view.”
- “Domesticity before personal achievement . . . We simply don’t speak of men in science this way…For men, scientific accomplishments are accepted as something naturally within their grasp.”
THESE WOMEN ARE an inspiration to everyone with discoveries, such Kevlar . . . Chemotherapy . . . Pediatric Cardiology . . . APGAR score . . . Paleoneurology . . . Foundation of Modern Environmentalism . . . Mutagenesis . . . Developmental Genetics (co-founder) . . . Initiated a project that would lead to the discovery of nuclear fission . . . Element 87 . . . Earth’s inner core . . . Electrothermal Hydrazine Thruster . . . World’s first computer program . . . Abstract Algebra . . . Chaos Theory . . . Provided the foundation for COBOL . . . Secret communication system (which led to the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS) . . . Wrinkle-free Cotton . . . First American Woman in Space . . . Beginning of evidence-based medicine.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics geek, to appreciate the unparalleled accomplishments and learn more about these phenomenal women, simply click on their names: Mary Putnam Jacobi, Anna Wessels Williams, Alice Ball, Gerty Radnitz Cori, Helen Taussig, Elsie Widdowson, Virginia Apgar, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, Gertrude Belle Elion, Jane Wright, Maria Sibylla Merian, Jeanne Villepreux-Power, Mary Anning, Ellen Swallow Richards, Alice Hamilton, Alice Evans, Tilly Edinger, Rachel Carson, Ruth Patrick, Nettie Stevens, Hilde Mangold, Charlotte Auerbach, Barbara McClintock, Salome Gluecksohn Waelsch, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Rosalind Franklin, Anne McLaren, Lynn Margulis, Emilie du Chatelet, Lise Meitner, Irene Joliot-Curie, Maria Goeppert Mayer, Marguerite Perey, Chien-Shiung Wu, Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, Maria Mitchell, Annie Jump Cannon, Inge Lehmann, Marie Tharp, Yvonne Brill, Sally Ride, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Ada Lovelace, Florence Nightingale, Sophie Kowalevski, Emmy Noether, Mary Cartwright, Grace Murray Hopper, Hertha Ayrton, Hedy Lamarr, Ruth Benerito, and Stephanie Kwolek.
MS. SWABY SHOULD BE COMMENDED for her work. HEADSTRONG is inspiring, for this simple reason – the time has come to share the truth because “So little coverage has been dedicated to the accomplishments of women.” Whether you, or someone you know is interested in the STEM fields is not the point. It is the knowledge that was shared, the readers, aka the “informed.” HEADSTRONG debunks the numerous myths and stereotypes the society has conditioned us to believe.
Disclaimer: BONDing over BOOKS received this book for free from the Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.