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Nobel Prize Women In Science: Their Lives, Struggles, And Momentous Discoveries
by Sharon Bertsch Mcgrayne
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From Publishers Weekly
Only nine of the more than 300 Nobel prizes awarded in science since 1901 have been won by women, notes science writer Bertsch as she sets the context for the biographical essays that follow. Examining the careers and lives of 14 women scientists "who either won a Nobel Prize or played a crucial role in a Nobel winning project," she movingly depicts their battles against gender discrimination for recognition and respect and she describes the self-conflict about their roles. Subjects range from Marie Curie (1867-1934) to such contemporaries as Rosalyn Yalow, awarded a Nobel Prize in 1977 for her work as a medical physicist, and Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist credited, at the age of 24, with the 1968 discovery of pulsars, who made large personal sacrifices for her science. Bertsch introduces the small pantheon of women leaders in science whose careers and words offer advice and inspiration, if small comfort, to women in science today. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
As the subtitle suggests, this book describes the lives and struggles of 14 women who were either awarded the Nobel Prize or played a critical part in the work of the men who received it. And the "struggles" were horrendous. From the nonadmission policies of most graduate schools, even as late as 1960, to the restrictive admission policies even at the undergraduate level, simply obtaining an adequate education in the sciences was a battle for women. And, with few exceptions, most of them had to take unpaid or lowly paid jobs if they wanted to do science. Tenured positions might be offered after the Nobel Prize was won! Bertsch is a former newspaper reporter, and her background is reflected in her terse, dramatic treatment of each woman. There is an excellent set of references, as well as a thoughtful introduction and conclusion. At the outset, Bertsch asks "Why so few?"--at the conclusion, given the trials and tribulations, one wonders how so many endured. Highly recommended for all science collections.
- Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, Cal.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
History of Physics Newsletter, Fall 2002
"...a welcome reissue of an important book on the lives and achievements of women science Nobel Laureates."
"Gratifying reader for women of all ages--and would that men would read it as well."
This book tells the stories of the lives and achievements of fifteen women scientists who either won a Nobel Prize or played a crucial role in a Nobel Prize-winning project. NOBEL PRIZE WOMEN IN SCIENCE book reveals the relentless discrimination these women faced both as students and as researchers. They succeeded because they were passionately in love with science.
About the Author
Sharon Bertsch McGrayne is a former newspaper reporter and writer-editor on science for Encyclopaedia Britannica. The author interviewed every living woman scientist who is a subject in this book and 250 of their colleagues, associates, and family members. She has lectured about women in science at many places here and abroad. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
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