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American Women of Letters and the Nineteenth-Century Sciences
Styles of Affiliation
Baym, Nina
Rutgers University Press, 2001
Winner of the 2000 Hubbell Award from the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association of America

Choice Outstanding Academic Title​

During the nineteenth century, the content and institutional organization of the sciences evolved dramatically, altering the public's understanding of knowledge. As science grew in importance, many women of letters tried to incorporate it into a female worldview. Nina Baym explores the responses to science displayed in a range of writings by American women. Conceding that they could not become scientists, women insisted, however, that they were capable of understanding science and participating in its discourse. They used their access to publishing to advocate the study and transmission of scientific information to the general public.

Bayms book includes biographies and a full exploration of these women's works. Among those considered are:
• Almira Phelps, author of Familiar Lectures on Botany (it sold 350,000 copies)
• Sarah Hale, who filled Godey's Lady's Book with science articles
• Catharine Esther Beecher, who based her domestic advice on scientific information
• Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, the actual ghostwriter of her husband's popular science essays
• Emily Dickinson, whose poetry is replete with scientific images.

Baym also investigates science in women's novels, writing by and about women doctors, and the scientific claims advanced by women's spiritualist movements. This book truly breaks new ground, outlining a field of inquiry that few have noted exists.

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Daughters of Alchemy
Women and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy
Meredith K. Ray
Harvard University Press, 2015

The era of the Scientific Revolution has long been epitomized by Galileo. Yet many women were at its vanguard, deeply invested in empirical culture. They experimented with medicine and practical alchemy at home, at court, and through collaborative networks of practitioners. In academies, salons, and correspondence, they debated cosmological discoveries; in their literary production, they used their knowledge of natural philosophy to argue for their intellectual equality to men.

Meredith Ray restores the work of these women to our understanding of early modern scientific culture. Her study begins with Caterina Sforza’s alchemical recipes; examines the sixteenth-century vogue for “books of secrets”; and looks at narratives of science in works by Moderata Fonte and Lucrezia Marinella. It concludes with Camilla Erculiani’s letters on natural philosophy and, finally, Margherita Sarrocchi’s defense of Galileo’s “Medicean” stars.

Combining literary and cultural analysis, Daughters of Alchemy contributes to the emerging scholarship on the variegated nature of scientific practice in the early modern era. Drawing on a range of under-studied material including new analyses of the Sarrocchi–Galileo correspondence and a previously unavailable manuscript of Sforza’s Experimenti, Ray’s book rethinks early modern science, properly reintroducing the integral and essential work of women.


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Diversifying STEM
Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Race and Gender
Ebony O. McGee
Rutgers University Press, 2020
2020 Choice​ Outstanding Academic Title

Research frequently neglects the important ways that race and gender intersect within the complex structural dynamics of STEM. Diversifying STEM fills this void, bringing together a wide array of perspectives and the voices of a number of multidisciplinary scholars. The essays cover three main areas: the widely-held ideology that science and mathematics are “value-free,” which promotes pedagogies of colorblindness in the classroom as well as an avoidance of discussions around using mathematics and science to promote social justice; how male and female students of color experience the intersection of racist and sexist structures that lead to general underrepresentation and marginalization; and recognizing that although there are no quick fixes, there exists evidence-based research suggesting concrete ways of doing a better job of including individuals of color in STEM. As a whole this volume will allow practitioners, teachers, students, faculty, and professionals to reimagine STEM across a variety of educational paradigms, perspectives, and disciplines, which is critical in finding solutions that broaden the participation of historically underrepresented groups within the STEM disciplines. 

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Equity for Women in Science
Dismantling Systemic Barriers to Advancement
Cassidy R. Sugimoto and Vincent Larivière
Harvard University Press, 2023

The first large-scale empirical analysis of the gender gap in science, showing how the structure of scientific labor and rewards—publications, citations, funding—systematically obstructs women’s career advancement.

If current trends continue, women and men will be equally represented in the field of biology in 2069. In physics, math, and engineering, women should not expect to reach parity for more than a century. The gender gap in science and technology is narrowing, but at a decidedly unimpressive pace. And even if parity is achievable, what about equity?

Equity for Women in Science, the first large-scale empirical analysis of the global gender gap in science, provides strong evidence that the structures of scientific production and reward impede women’s career advancement. To make their case, Cassidy R. Sugimoto and Vincent Larivière have conducted scientometric analyses using millions of published papers across disciplines. The data show that women are systematically denied the chief currencies of scientific credit: publications and citations. The rising tide of collaboration only exacerbates disparities, with women unlikely to land coveted leadership positions or gain access to global networks. The findings are unequivocal: when published, men are positioned as key contributors and women are relegated to low-visibility technical roles. The intersecting disparities in labor, reward, and resources contribute to cumulative disadvantages for the advancement of women in science.

Alongside their eye-opening analyses, Sugimoto and Larivière offer solutions. The data themselves point the way, showing where existing institutions fall short. A fair and equitable research ecosystem is possible, but the scientific community must first disrupt its own pervasive patterns of gatekeeping.


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Gender and Scientific Authority
Edited by Barbara Laslett, Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, Helen Longino, and Evelynn Hammonds
University of Chicago Press, 1996
This volume of recent Signs articles offers some of the most significant contributions to the debates on history and theory. Illustrating the uses of theories in recent feminist historical research and the often contentious arguments that surround them, the articles speak to a number of discussions, including the theoretical tradition of political economy, the importance of class relations for understanding historical events and social relationships, and the expansion of concepts from political economy to include race. Included as well are the workings of gender signification in terms of the body, moving it from its traditionally lesser position in the hierarchical Enlightenment mind/body split. A further group of articles concerns the discursive character of power relations and the dialogic quality of language. The volume will be extremely useful for feminist historians in a variety of disciplines as well as women's studies students interested in issues of interdisciplinarity.

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Has Feminism Changed Science?
Londa Schiebinger
Harvard University Press, 2001

Do women do science differently? And how about feminists--male or female? The answer to this fraught question, carefully set out in this provocative book, will startle and enlighten every faction in the "science wars."

Has Feminism Changed Science? is at once a history of women in science and a frank assessment of the role of gender in shaping scientific knowledge. Science is both a profession and a body of knowledge, and Londa Schiebinger looks at how women have fared and performed in both instances. She first considers the lives of women scientists, past and present: How many are there? What sciences do they choose--or have chosen for them? Is the professional culture of science gendered? And is there something uniquely feminine about the science women do? Schiebinger debunks the myth that women scientists--because they are women--are somehow more holistic and integrative and create more cooperative scientific communities. At the same time, she details the considerable practical difficulties that beset women in science, where domestic partnerships, children, and other demanding concerns can put women's (and increasingly men's) careers at risk.

But what about the content of science, the heart of Schiebinger's subject? Have feminist perspectives brought any positive changes to scientific knowledge? Schiebinger provides a subtle and nuanced gender analysis of the physical sciences, medicine, archaeology, evolutionary biology, primatology, and developmental biology. She also shows that feminist scientists have developed new theories, asked new questions, and opened new fields in many of these areas.


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History of Women in the Sciences
Readings from Isis
Edited by Sally Gregory Kohlstedt
University of Chicago Press, 2000
Why is it that some women have created successful careers in science, when historically there have been so many barriers that exclude women from engaging in scientific work? At last, here is a comparative history that illuminates some of the patterns that have emerged in the history of women in science.

This book features some of the most influential and pioneering studies of women in the sciences, with a special focus on patterns of education, access, barriers, and opportunities for women's work in science. Spanning the 17th through the 20th centuries, the book demonstrates the meaning and power of gender experienced by women in the sciences.

Individual chapters focus on exceptional women whose unusual initiativee and particular circumstance led them to engage in science: Laura Bassi, Nettie Stevens, Maria Winkelmann, and others. Chapters on women's access to science discuss collaboration with family members in the domestic sphere, the impact of primers and popular science writing, and formal education in public schools and advanced research institutions. There are examinations of the reasons for clusters of women working in "female friendly" sciences such as botany and physiology in the 19th century and astronomy in the U.S. during the early 20th century.

This important and useful book provides a thoughtful and detailed overview for scholars and students in the history of science, as well as for feminist historians, scientists, and others who who want a comparative and historical analysis of women in the sciences.

Contributors include Janet Browne, Paula Findlen, Peggy Aldrich Kidwell, Ann Hibner Koblitz, M. Susan Lindee, Carolyn Merchant, Margaret W. Rossiter, Londa Schiebinger, Nancy Leys Stepan, and Deborah Jean Warner.

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In Science's Shadow
Literary Constructions of Late Victorian Women
Patricia Murphy
University of Missouri Press, 2006

 The Victorian era was characterized by great scientific curiosity—as exemplified by the publication of Darwin’s Descent of Man—as well as by new questions regarding the place of women in society. Patricia Murphy now explores the tenuous interplay of gender and science to show how the era’s literature both challenged and reinforced a constrictive role for Victorian women. Focusing on a specific body of literature involving women intensely associated with scientific pursuits, and examining selected noncanonical writings—both fictional and nonfictional representations of scientific women—Murphy demonstrates how these works informed the “Woman Question” by reinforcing or rejecting presumed truths about gender and science.

            Some of these texts offer lucid insights into the ways in which women were defined, marginalized, and excluded. In his novel Two on a Tower, Thomas Hardy presented science as a masculine realm threatened by female intrusion, while Wilkie Collins in Heart and Science depicted a woman interested in science as a villainous schemer who falls far short of the Victorian ideal of femininity. And although Charles Reade’s novel A Woman-Hater was more sympathetic in its portrayal of a female physician, it continued to reinforce Victorian stereotypes.
In contrast, Murphy also shows us the poetry of science enthusiast Constance Naden, who used the language of the discipline to reflect its marginalization of women. Murphy also uses the travel memoirs of botanical painter Marianne North, which reveal her attempts to achieve a gender-neutral voice to position her work within the Victorian scientific realm. Through the words of these women, Murphy shows how popular notions of women’s inferiority and marginality were internalized and addressed.
            These close readings further elucidate the status of women in late-nineteenth-century England and show how prejudices about women’s intellectual inferiority infiltrated popular culture. In Science’s Shadow makes new inroads in the study of gendered scientific discourse while introducing readers to some little-known, but most revealing, literary works

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Lost Talent
Sandra L. Hanson
Temple University Press, 1996
"Sandra Hanson demonstrates the progressive loss of women to science--and science to women--through discriminatory actions and policies of key institutions and unequal resources offered to young women and men. Her detailed analyses disclose the complex process by which gender, race and class determine who stays in science--and why." --Mary Frank Fox, School of History, Technology, and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology In this pathbreaking book, Sandra Hanson asks what compels so many talented young women to leave the professions of science and mathematics? When do they leave and why? Why do equally qualified girls and boys have such different experiences with science education? What are the patterns for women who do stay in school and pursue a scientific career? What difference does family background make? Exactly how significant are differences of race and class? In this research project, Hanson examines several unusually large and subtle, nationally representative, longitudinal data sets. The data include information on a multitude of distinctions by race, class background, school experiences, school resources, to name a few. Hanson examines this information with a particular focus on the differences in achievement within and across the disciplines, varying access to physical resources, and differential activities in both math and science for young women in the education process. The challenge faced by the United States in the next two decades is developing a balanced, qualified, and well-trained workforce for jobs in science and other technical fields. For Hanson it includes equity for women and creating conditions such that young girls who start out doing well in science do not end up with little training and knowledge. The recovery of this "lost talent" is the central concern of this book. "Lost Talent compels us to think about the experiences of women in science in an entirely new and comprehensive way--how they differ from men in their activities, achievement, access, and attitudes about science. Particularly refreshing is Hanson's recognition that women scientists are not a monolithic group. I found her broadened focus on women of various race and ethnic groups more inclusive and informative that previous books on women in science." --Shirley Vining Brown, Senior Research Scientist, Special Populations Group, Educational Testing Service "Lost Talent is a pathbreaking work. It is concerned with the relatively low long term rate of female involvement and achievement in science. Much of the effort to understand the origins of these phenomena has focused on single factors, usually examined at a moment in time, and frequently based on unrepresentative samples and inconsistent measures. Sandra Hanson seeks to remedy many of these deficiencies in this book. Her dynamic, multidimensional approach deepens our insights into the complex patterns and produces new evidence about the trajectories of these women among the various states of science involvement within the education system and their major determinants. It will be required reading for all who seek to better our understanding of this important issue." --Alan Fechter,, President, Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology

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Making Marie Curie
Intellectual Property and Celebrity Culture in an Age of Information
Eva Hemmungs Wirtén
University of Chicago Press, 2015
In many ways, Marie Curie represents modern science. Her considerable lifetime achievements—the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize, the only woman to be awarded the Prize in two fields, and the only person to be awarded Nobel Prizes in multiple sciences—are studied by schoolchildren across the world. When, in 2009, the New Scientist carried out a poll for the “Most Inspirational Female Scientist of All Time,” the result was a foregone conclusion: Marie Curie trounced her closest runner-up, Rosalind Franklin, winning double the number of Franklin’s votes. She is a role model to women embarking on a career in science, the pride of two nations—Poland and France—and, not least of all, a European Union brand for excellence in science.

Making Marie Curie explores what went into the creation of this icon of science. It is not a traditional biography, or one that attempts to uncover the “real” Marie Curie. Rather, Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, by tracing a career that spans two centuries and a world war, provides an innovative and historically grounded account of how modern science emerges in tandem with celebrity culture under the influence of intellectual property in a dawning age of information. She explores the emergence of the Curie persona, the information culture of the period that shaped its development, and the strategies Curie used to manage and exploit her intellectual property. How did one create and maintain for oneself the persona of scientist at the beginning of the twentieth century? What special conditions bore upon scientific women, and on married women in particular? How was French identity claimed, established, and subverted? How, and with what consequences, was a scientific reputation secured?

In its exploration of these questions and many more, Making Marie Curie provides a composite picture not only of the making of Marie Curie, but the making of modern science itself.

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A Matter of Choices
Memoirs of a Female Physicist
Fay Ajzenberg-Selove
Rutgers University Press, 1994
When Fay Ajzenberg-Selove became a nuclear physicist, the number of women in the field could be counted on one hand. In this engaging memoir, Fay Ajzenberg-Selove writes candidly about her difficult journey to international recognition in physics. She is frank about the ways being a woman has made a difference in her opportunities and choices as a scientist--and how, by being a woman, she has made a difference in the world of physics.

Ajzenberg-Selove came to America at the age of 15 after narrowly escaping the Nazi takeover of France. She had planned to become an engineer like her father, but switched to physics after she was told the only engineering jobs open to women were in drafting: Marie Curie's example proved to her that women could do physics. Her first attempt at graduate work at Columbia University was a disaster, but she was sturck with the intellectual beauty of the field. After taking a Ph.D. in physics at University of Wisconsin, she did post-doctoral work with Thomas Lauritsen at the California Institute of Technology, where she began writing the first of a series of major review papers on the nuclear spectroscopy of the light nuclei, a subject of fundamental importance to nuclear physics, astrophysics, and applied physics. She continued this work and experimental research for thirty-eight years while teaching at Boston University, Haverford College, and the University of Pennsylvania.

During her early career, Ajzenberg-Selove was shielded by her male mentors from experiencing much of the discrimination directed against women in science. Her simultaneous battles to become a tenured professor and to overcome breast cancer opened her eyes and confirmed her as a feminist. 

The lay reader and the scientist alike will be fascinated by Ajzenberg-Selove's clear portrayal of her interlinked lives as physicist, teacher, wife of particle physicist, Walter Selove, and a woman who relishes both competition and friendship in a male-dominated field. An invaluable book for anyone contemplating a career in science.

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The Mind Has No Sex?
Women in the Origins of Modern Science
Londa Schiebinger
Harvard University Press, 1989

As part of his attempt to secure a place for women in scientific culture, the Cartesian François Poullain de la Barre asserted as long ago as 1673 that “the mind has no sex.” In this rich and comprehensive history of women’s contributions to the development of early modern science, Londa Schiebinger examines the shifting fortunes of male and female equality in the sphere of the intellect. Schiebinger counters the “great women” mode of history and calls attention to broader developments in scientific culture that have been obscured by time and changing circumstance. She also elucidates a larger issue: how gender structures knowledge and power.

It is often assumed that women were automatically excluded from participation in the scientific revolution of early modern Europe, but in fact powerful trends encouraged their involvement. Aristocratic women participated in the learned discourse of the Renaissance court and dominated the informal salons that proliferated in seventeenth-century Paris. In Germany, women of the artisan class pursued research in fields such as astronomy and entomology. These and other women fought to renegotiate gender boundaries within the newly established scientific academies in order to secure their place among the men of science. But for women the promises of the Enlightenment were not to be fulfilled. Scientific and social upheavals not only left women on the sidelines but also brought about what the author calls the “scientific revolution in views of sexual difference.”

While many aspects of the scientific revolution are well understood, what has not generally been recognized is that revolution came also from another quarter—the scientific understanding of biological sex and sexual temperament (what we today call gender). Illustrations of female skeletons of the ideal woman—with small skulls and large pelvises—portrayed female nature as a virtue in the private realm of hearth and home, but as a handicap in the world of science. At the same time, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century women witnessed the erosion of their own spheres of influence. Midwifery and medical cookery were gradually subsumed into the newly profess ionalized medical sciences. Scientia, the ancient female personification of science, lost ground to a newer image of the male researcher, efficient and solitary—a development that reflected a deeper intellectual shift. By the late eighteenth century, a self-reinforcing system had emerged that rendered invisible the inequalities women suffered. In reexamining the origins of modern science, Schiebinger unearths a forgotten heritage of women scientists and probes the cultural and historical forces that continue to shape the course of scientific scholarship and knowledge.


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A Question of Identity
Women, Science, and Literature
Edited by Marina Benjamin
Rutgers University Press, 1993

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Sciences from Below
Feminisms, Postcolonialities, and Modernities
Sandra Harding
Duke University Press, 2008
In Sciences from Below, the esteemed feminist science studies scholar Sandra Harding synthesizes modernity studies with progressive tendencies in science and technology studies to suggest how scientific and technological pursuits might be more productively linked to social justice projects around the world. Harding illuminates the idea of multiple modernities as well as the major contributions of post-Kuhnian Western, feminist, and postcolonial science studies. She explains how these schools of thought can help those seeking to implement progressive social projects refine their thinking to overcome limiting ideas about what modernity and modernization are, the objectivity of scientific knowledge, patriarchy, and Eurocentricity. She also reveals how ideas about gender and colonialism frame the conventional contrast between modernity and tradition. As she has done before, Harding points the way forward in Sciences from Below.

Describing the work of the post-Kuhnian science studies scholars Bruno Latour, Ulrich Beck, and the team of Michael Gibbons, Helga Nowtony, and Peter Scott, Harding reveals how, from different perspectives, they provide useful resources for rethinking the modernity versus tradition binary and its effects on the production of scientific knowledge. Yet, for the most part, they do not take feminist or postcolonial critiques into account. As Harding demonstrates, feminist science studies and postcolonial science studies have vital contributions to make; they bring to light not only the male supremacist investments in the Western conception of modernity and the historical and epistemological bases of Western science but also the empirical knowledge traditions of the global South. Sciences from Below is a clear and compelling argument that modernity studies and post-Kuhnian, feminist, and postcolonial sciences studies each have something important, and necessary, to offer to those formulating socially progressive scientific research and policy.


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Sex and Scientific Inquiry
Edited by Sandra Harding and Jean F. O'Barr
University of Chicago Press, 1987

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Toys and Tools in Pink
Cultural Narratives of Gender, Science, and Technology
Carol Colatrella
The Ohio State University Press, 2011
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs work collaboratively to connect education and research at the institutional, national, and global levels. But what role do women play in STEM? In this very timely book, Carol Colatrella responds to the under-representation of women in STEM by considering how gender inflects literary and media representations. In her analysis of fictional and cinematic texts that reference STEM, she investigates cultural tensions concerning sex roles—tensions that continue to be influential in today’s world.
Toys and Tools in Pinkanalyzes female character types that recur in fictional narratives in print, on television, and in the cinema: female criminals and detectives, mothers who practice medicine, and “babe scientists,” among others. It also investigates how narrative settings and plots both subsume and influence cultural stereotypes of gender in prescribing salient professional and personal codes of conduct in the STEM fields.
Literary and historical case studies in Toys and Tools in Pinkexamine issues of women’s abilities in, access to, and management of science and technology. These issues appear in debates among university faculty, politicians, and public policy analysts concerned about women’s participation in STEM fields. Current analyses of diverse fictions and films demonstrate a continuing interest in women’s place in science and technology and also create new, evolving understandings of femininity and masculinity that revise earlier stereotypes.

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Transforming Science and Engineering
Advancing Academic Women
Abigail J. Stewart, Janet E. Malley, and Danielle LaVaque-Manty, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2010

"If you have thrown up your hands in despair after trying to retain women science and engineering in the academy, read this book. It offers detailed descriptions of a wide array of tried-and-true programs that have been tested out by the NSF ADVANCE program."
---Joan C. Williams, 1066 Foundation Chair & Distinguished Professor of Law Director, Center for WorkLife Law University of California

"Solid and practical, this volume details the first years of NSF funded institutional change to remake gender dynamics inside U.S. science. What works? What doesn't? And why?"
---Londa Schiebinger, John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science and Barbara D. Finberg Director, Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, and author of Has Feminism Changed Science?

"This book's time has come. Transforming Science and Engineering is important, and lots of people can learn from what has happened in the ADVANCE universities."
---Lotte Bailyn, Professor of Management, Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department, Sloan School of Management, MIT; author of Breaking the Mold: Redesigning Work for Productive and Satisfying Lives; and coauthor of Beyond Work-Family Balance: Advancing Gender Equity and Workplace Performance

"This collection profiles 16 NSF ADVANCE grant successes, sandwiched between an interview with Dr. Alice Hogan and Dr. Lee Harle's summary of cost-effective practices from ADVANCE programs, giving so many 'biggest bang for the buck' examples in so few pages that it will easily justify both the cost of the book and the reading time. These accounts do not continue the too-common vague referrals to 'unhealthy environment' or 'chilly climate,' but rather expound the situations before and after the interventions, something necessary in order to transplant the programs, or even to use the programs for idea generation. Transforming Science and Engineering is a model of excellence, and will be extremely useful for those women, men, faculty, or administrators wanting to help their universities move into the 21st century and attract to their campuses qualified women and men who want opportunities to attain their full potentials."
---Donna J. Nelson, Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Oklahoma

In 2001, the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE Institutional Transformation program began awarding five-year grants to colleges and universities to address a common problem: how to improve the work environment for women faculty in science and engineering. Drawing on the expertise of scientists, engineers, social scientists, specialists in organizational behavior, and university administrators, this collection is the first to describe the variety of innovative efforts academic institutions around the country have undertaken.

Focusing on a wide range of topics, from how to foster women's academic success in small teaching institutions, to how to use interactive theater to promote faculty reflection about departmental culture, to how a particular department created and maintained a healthy climate for women's scientific success, the contributors discuss both the theoretical and empirical aspects of the initiatives, with emphasis on the practical issues involved in creating these approaches. The resulting evidence shows that these initiatives have the desired effects. The cases represented in this collection depict the many issues women faculty in science and engineering face, and the solutions that are presented can be widely accepted at academic institutions around the United States. The essays in Transforming Science and Engineering illustrate that creating work environments that sustain and advance women scientists and engineers benefits women, men, and underrepresented minorities.

Abigail J. Stewart is Sandra Schwartz Tangri Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan.

Janet E. Malley is a psychologist and Associate Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan.

Danielle LaVaque-Manty, former Research Associate at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, teaches composition at U-M's Sweetland Writing Center.

Cover photo: Joanne Leonard


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Uneasy Careers and Intimate Lives
Women in Science, 1789-1979
Edited by Pnina Abir-Am and Dorinda Outram
Rutgers University Press, 1987
These pioneering studies of women in science pay special attention to the mutual impact of family life and scientific career. The contributors address five key themes: historical changes in such concepts as scientific career, profession, patronage, and family; differences in "gender image" associated with various branches of science; consequences of national differences and emigration; opportunities for scientific work opened or closed by marriage; and levels of women's awareness about the role of gender in science. 

An international group of historians of science discuss a wide range of European and American women scientists--from early nineteenth-century English botanists to Marie Curie to the twentieth-century theoretical biologist, Dorothy Wrinch. 

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Who Succeeds in Science?
The Gender Dilemma
Gerald Holton and Gerhard Sonnert
Rutgers University Press, 1995

Why don’t more women become scientists? And why do those who do become scientists often face more difficulties than their male counterparts? Every year, about a quarter of a million young men and women in the United States receive their first academic degree in science, mathematics, or engineering. A small fraction will eventually become research scientists. But many who start out with that goal fail to reach it––for reasons that may have less to do with their scientific ability than with their gender.  

Drawing on a wealth of information (699 questionnaires and 200 interviews) from men and women who gave every promise of scientific achievement, Gerhard Sonnert and Gerald Holton illuminate the partly gender-driven dynamics of “the leaky scientific pipeline.”  At the heart of this book are gripping personal life stories of ten women and ten men: half became highly successful scientists, the rest left research science. In their own voices, they talk candidly about their career paths, the obstacles and assists they encountered, the difficulties and rewards of attempting to combine a family life with a science career.           

This highly readable analysis of the gender dimension in scientific careers––and its clear-headed advice––will be of great interest to everyone considering a career in science as well as to teachers, parents, and active scientists. Academics in sociology of science and gender studies as well as decision-makers in the areas of human resources and science policy will also welcome its discussions of general issues and policy recommendations.



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Women in Science
Career Processes and Outcomes
Yu Xie and Kimberlee A. Shauman
Harvard University Press, 2003

Why do so few women choose a career in science--even as they move into medicine and law in ever-greater numbers? In one of the most comprehensive studies of gender differences in science careers ever conducted, Women in Science provides a systematic account of how U.S. youth are selected into and out of science education in early life, and how social forces affect career outcomes later in the science labor market.

Studying the science career trajectory in its entirety, the authors attend to the causal influences of prior experiences on career outcomes as well as the interactions of multiple life domains such as career and family. While attesting to the progress of women in science, the book also reveals continuing gender differences in mathematics and science education and in the progress and outcomes of scientists' careers. The authors explore the extent and causes of gender differences in undergraduate and graduate science education, in scientists' geographic mobility, in research productivity, in promotion rates and earnings, and in the experience of immigrant scientists. They conclude that the gender gap in parenting responsibilities is a critical barrier to the further advancement of women in science.


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Women's Science
Learning and Succeeding from the Margins
Margaret A. Eisenhart and Elizabeth Finkel
University of Chicago Press, 1998
Are there any places where women succeed in science? Numerous studies in recent years have documented and lamented a gender gap in science and engineering. From elementary school through college, women's interest in science steadily declines, and as adults, they are less likely to pursue careers in science-related fields.

Women's Science offers a dramatic counterpoint not only to these findings but also to the related, narrow assumption that "real science" only occurs in research and laboratory investigation. This book describes women engaged with science or engineering at the margins: an innovative high school genetics class; a school-to-work internship for prospective engineers, an environmental action group, and a nonprofit conservation agency. In these places—where people use or rely on science for public, social, or community purposes—the authors found a remarkably high proportion of women. Moreover, these women were successful at learning and using technical knowledge, they advanced in roughly equal percentages to men, and they generally enjoyed their work.

Yet, even in these more marginal workplaces, women had to pay a price. Working outside traditional laboratories, they enjoy little public prestige and receive significantly less financial compensation. Although most employers claimed to treat men and women equally, women in fact only achieved success when they acted like male professionals.

Women's Science is an original and provocative contribution that expands our conception of scientific practice as it reconfigures both women's role in science and the meaning of science in contemporary society.

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