Women in Science

50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

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Best Seller
Hardcover
$16.99 US
7.8"W x 9.3"H x 0.6"D  
On sale Jul 26, 2016 | 128 Pages | 978-1-60774-976-9
| Grades 6-12
Reading Level: Lexile 990L
From the ancient to the modern world, Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Full of striking, singular art, this new collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
 
Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more.
© Thomas Mason IV
Rachel Ignotofsky is a New York Times bestselling author, illustrator, and designer. Rachel and her work have been featured in many print and online media outlets such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, Science Friday, Brain Pickings, and more. She is the author of Women in Science, Women in Sports, Women in Art, I Love Science, and The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth. She is a graduate of Tyler School of Art’s graphic design program. View titles by Rachel Ignotofsky
INTRODUCTION

Nothing says trouble like a woman in pants. That was the attitude in the 1930s, anyway; when Barbara McClintock wore slacks at the University of Missouri, it was considered scandalous. Even worse, she was feisty, direct, incredibly smart, and twice as sharp as most of her male colleagues. She did things her way to get the best results, even if it meant working late with her students, who were breaking curfew. If you think these seem like good qualities for scientist, then you are right. But back then, these weren’t necessarily considered good qualities in a woman. Her intelligence, her self-confidence, her willingness to break rules, and of course her pants were all considered shocking!

Barbara had already made her mark on the field of genetics with her groundbreaking work at Cornell University, mapping chromosomes using corn. This work is still important in scientific history. Yet while working at the University of Missouri Barbara was seen as bold and unladylike. The faculty excluded her from meetings and gave her little support with her research. When she found out they would fire her if she got married and there was no possibility of promotion, she decided she had had enough.

Risking her entire career, she packed her bags. With no plan, except an unwillingness to compromise her worth, Barbara went off to find her dream job. This decision would allow her to joyously research all day and eventually make the discovery of jumping genes. This discovery would win her a Nobel Prize and forever change how we view genetics.

Barbara McClintock’s story is not unique. As long as humanity has asked questions about our world, men and women have looked to the stars, under rocks, and through microscopes to find the answers. Although both men and women have the same thirst for knowledge, women have not always been given the same opportunities to explore the answers.

In the past, restrictions on women’s access to education was not uncommon. Women were often not allowed to publish scientific papers. Women were expected to grow up to exclusively become good wives and mothers while their husbands provided for them. Many people thought women were just not as smart as men. The women in this book had to fight these stereotypes to have the careers they wanted. They broke rules, published under pseudonyms, and worked for the love of learning alone. When others doubted their abilities, they had to believe in themselves.

When women finally began gaining wider access to higher education, there was usually a catch. Often they would be given no space to work, no funding, and no recognition. Not allowed to enter the university building because of her gender, Lise Meitner did her radiochemistry experiments in a dank basement. Without funding for a lab, physicist and chemist Marie Curie handled dangerous radioactive elements in a tiny, dusty shed. After making one of the most important discoveries in the history of astronomy, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin still got little recognition, and for decades her gender limited her to work as a technical assistant. Creativity, persistence, and a love of discovery were the greatest tools these women had.

Marie Curie is now a household name, but throughout history there have been many other great and important women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Many did not receive the recognition they deserved at the time and were forgotten. When thinking of physics, we should name not only Albert Einstein but also the genius mathematician Emmy Noether. We should all know that it was Rosalind Franklin who discovered the double helix structure of DNA, not James Watson and Francis Crick. While admiring the advances in computer technology, let us remember not only Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but also Grace Hopper, the creator of modern programming.

Throughout history many women have risked everything in the name of science. This book tells the stories of these scientists, from ancient Greece to the modern day, who in the face of “No” said, “Try and stop me.”
“This charming encyclopedia includes a page of text and a fanciful drawing of the women scientists you’ve heard of—and plenty who you haven’t! The book has good coverage of the 1800s and early 1900s—a critical time when women’s expanding participation in science was changing the very structure of how knowledge is pursued. . . . Ignotofsky’s profiles of diverse female scientists is a great addition to the shelf of any student, of any age.”—Hope Jahren, FADERmagazine

“With the help of eye-catching artwork, Ignotofsky celebrates not just astronauts, but also the engineers, biologists, mathematicians, and physicists who’ve blazed a trail for women in STEM. . . . The book elevates this information with beautiful and instructive infographics that delve into topics like the number of women currently working in STEM fields.”Entertainment Weekly

“This book of illustrated biographies of scientific pioneers is hands-down gorgeous. . . . Kids will love paging through this, looking at all the detailed drawings, but they’ll likely have to rip it out of the hands of the adults who are marveling at each new page of factoids.”Bitch Media

“The world needs more books like this.”Scientific American
 
“A clever introduction to women scientists through history.”Science Friday (Best Science Books of the Year)

“If there were constellations celebrating the incredible accomplishments of women in science, Rachel Ignotofsky’s illustrations would serve as the blueprints. As Ignotofsky floats NASA computer programmer and mathematician Annie Easley amid rockets and stars, surrounds Higgs boson discoverer Sau Lan Wu with particles, and cradles Barbara McClintock with corn and chromosomes, she anchors her dreamy depictions into our brains. Women in Science captures the joy of so many essential discoveries while also celebrating the extraordinary lives of the women who’ve achieved them.”—Rachel Swaby, author of Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science—and the World

“I wish I had a daughter so I could give her a copy of Rachel Ignotofsky's lovingly illustrated Women in Science. In addition to Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, and Ada Lovelace, the book profiles dozens of less familiar female scientists—Black, Asian, Jewish, Russian, French, in stylish dresses, lab coats, trousers, spacesuits, shorts—whose accomplishments in astronomy, physics, mathematics, biology, psychology, and computer science came as news even to me. Ignotofsky provides young women with the courage and confidence to follow the exciting paths these pioneers have blazed before them.”—Eileen Pollack, author of The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys' Club

“In Rachel Ignotofsky’s edifying and inspiring book we meet some of history’s most remarkable women. Each profile contains extraordinary stories of obstacles and achievements. The drawings float on the pages’ dark backgrounds, making each figure appear to hover in the sky like a constellation. That’s what the reader is doing in this book: stargazing.”—Lauren Redniss, author of Radioactive and Thunder & Lightning
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About

From the ancient to the modern world, Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Full of striking, singular art, this new collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
 
Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more.

Author

© Thomas Mason IV
Rachel Ignotofsky is a New York Times bestselling author, illustrator, and designer. Rachel and her work have been featured in many print and online media outlets such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, Science Friday, Brain Pickings, and more. She is the author of Women in Science, Women in Sports, Women in Art, I Love Science, and The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth. She is a graduate of Tyler School of Art’s graphic design program. View titles by Rachel Ignotofsky

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Nothing says trouble like a woman in pants. That was the attitude in the 1930s, anyway; when Barbara McClintock wore slacks at the University of Missouri, it was considered scandalous. Even worse, she was feisty, direct, incredibly smart, and twice as sharp as most of her male colleagues. She did things her way to get the best results, even if it meant working late with her students, who were breaking curfew. If you think these seem like good qualities for scientist, then you are right. But back then, these weren’t necessarily considered good qualities in a woman. Her intelligence, her self-confidence, her willingness to break rules, and of course her pants were all considered shocking!

Barbara had already made her mark on the field of genetics with her groundbreaking work at Cornell University, mapping chromosomes using corn. This work is still important in scientific history. Yet while working at the University of Missouri Barbara was seen as bold and unladylike. The faculty excluded her from meetings and gave her little support with her research. When she found out they would fire her if she got married and there was no possibility of promotion, she decided she had had enough.

Risking her entire career, she packed her bags. With no plan, except an unwillingness to compromise her worth, Barbara went off to find her dream job. This decision would allow her to joyously research all day and eventually make the discovery of jumping genes. This discovery would win her a Nobel Prize and forever change how we view genetics.

Barbara McClintock’s story is not unique. As long as humanity has asked questions about our world, men and women have looked to the stars, under rocks, and through microscopes to find the answers. Although both men and women have the same thirst for knowledge, women have not always been given the same opportunities to explore the answers.

In the past, restrictions on women’s access to education was not uncommon. Women were often not allowed to publish scientific papers. Women were expected to grow up to exclusively become good wives and mothers while their husbands provided for them. Many people thought women were just not as smart as men. The women in this book had to fight these stereotypes to have the careers they wanted. They broke rules, published under pseudonyms, and worked for the love of learning alone. When others doubted their abilities, they had to believe in themselves.

When women finally began gaining wider access to higher education, there was usually a catch. Often they would be given no space to work, no funding, and no recognition. Not allowed to enter the university building because of her gender, Lise Meitner did her radiochemistry experiments in a dank basement. Without funding for a lab, physicist and chemist Marie Curie handled dangerous radioactive elements in a tiny, dusty shed. After making one of the most important discoveries in the history of astronomy, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin still got little recognition, and for decades her gender limited her to work as a technical assistant. Creativity, persistence, and a love of discovery were the greatest tools these women had.

Marie Curie is now a household name, but throughout history there have been many other great and important women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Many did not receive the recognition they deserved at the time and were forgotten. When thinking of physics, we should name not only Albert Einstein but also the genius mathematician Emmy Noether. We should all know that it was Rosalind Franklin who discovered the double helix structure of DNA, not James Watson and Francis Crick. While admiring the advances in computer technology, let us remember not only Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but also Grace Hopper, the creator of modern programming.

Throughout history many women have risked everything in the name of science. This book tells the stories of these scientists, from ancient Greece to the modern day, who in the face of “No” said, “Try and stop me.”

Praise

“This charming encyclopedia includes a page of text and a fanciful drawing of the women scientists you’ve heard of—and plenty who you haven’t! The book has good coverage of the 1800s and early 1900s—a critical time when women’s expanding participation in science was changing the very structure of how knowledge is pursued. . . . Ignotofsky’s profiles of diverse female scientists is a great addition to the shelf of any student, of any age.”—Hope Jahren, FADERmagazine

“With the help of eye-catching artwork, Ignotofsky celebrates not just astronauts, but also the engineers, biologists, mathematicians, and physicists who’ve blazed a trail for women in STEM. . . . The book elevates this information with beautiful and instructive infographics that delve into topics like the number of women currently working in STEM fields.”Entertainment Weekly

“This book of illustrated biographies of scientific pioneers is hands-down gorgeous. . . . Kids will love paging through this, looking at all the detailed drawings, but they’ll likely have to rip it out of the hands of the adults who are marveling at each new page of factoids.”Bitch Media

“The world needs more books like this.”Scientific American
 
“A clever introduction to women scientists through history.”Science Friday (Best Science Books of the Year)

“If there were constellations celebrating the incredible accomplishments of women in science, Rachel Ignotofsky’s illustrations would serve as the blueprints. As Ignotofsky floats NASA computer programmer and mathematician Annie Easley amid rockets and stars, surrounds Higgs boson discoverer Sau Lan Wu with particles, and cradles Barbara McClintock with corn and chromosomes, she anchors her dreamy depictions into our brains. Women in Science captures the joy of so many essential discoveries while also celebrating the extraordinary lives of the women who’ve achieved them.”—Rachel Swaby, author of Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science—and the World

“I wish I had a daughter so I could give her a copy of Rachel Ignotofsky's lovingly illustrated Women in Science. In addition to Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, and Ada Lovelace, the book profiles dozens of less familiar female scientists—Black, Asian, Jewish, Russian, French, in stylish dresses, lab coats, trousers, spacesuits, shorts—whose accomplishments in astronomy, physics, mathematics, biology, psychology, and computer science came as news even to me. Ignotofsky provides young women with the courage and confidence to follow the exciting paths these pioneers have blazed before them.”—Eileen Pollack, author of The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys' Club

“In Rachel Ignotofsky’s edifying and inspiring book we meet some of history’s most remarkable women. Each profile contains extraordinary stories of obstacles and achievements. The drawings float on the pages’ dark backgrounds, making each figure appear to hover in the sky like a constellation. That’s what the reader is doing in this book: stargazing.”—Lauren Redniss, author of Radioactive and Thunder & Lightning

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