American Women In Science

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In American Women in Science, each of the concise A–Z biographies of more than 300 women includes information on the woman's background, employment history, honors, and publications, and then places her achievements in the appropriate scientific and social context. Other features include illustrations, bibliographic references, and an index that lists women by scientific discipline.

Among the biographical entries are Jane Brody, Helen Mary Caldicott, Ada E. Deer, Jane Delgado, Dian Fossey, Margaret Hamilton, Devrie Intriligator, Shirley Ann Jackson, and Judith Kimble. All biographical entries are indexed by profession, name, and subject, making this an outstanding reference for students and teachers of women's studies and science as well as anyone interested in the scientific achievements of women.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Limited to American women "in science" who began their careers prior to 1950, this dictionary, compiled by the life sciences librarian at Purdue University, includes all women listed in the first three editions of American Men and Women of Science (Bowker), starred names from the next four editions, women formally recognized in their field (e.g., through election to the National Academy of Sciences), women identified as scientists employed by the government, and a miscellaneous category (which includes the privately employed, authors, technical illustrators, etc.). Each entry includes full name, dates of birth and death, profession, education, employment history, and marital status, plus a biographical sketch (150-300 words) and other citing sources. More than 500 entries are included. While the coverage is somewhat erratic due to Bailey's particular definition of "in science," this is a useful book. Entries are more detailed than Cynthia Gay Binindocci's Women and Technology (LJ 6/1/93) but less comprehensive than Women in Chemistry and Physics (LJ 10/1/93). Recommended for both lay readers and scholars.-Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, Cal.
Library Journal
In this follow-up volume to her American Women in Science, Colonial Times to 1950 (LJ 9/1/94), Bailey has limited her coverage to women born in or after 1920 or who started work after 1950, who are members of the National Academy of Sciences or Engineering, or who were recipients of a major award such as the Lasker or the Garvan. Most worked primarily in the United States but need not have been born here and are engaged in professions represented by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) or National Academy of Education (NAE) disciplinary categories. Bailey also includes individuals who made significant scientific contributions in nontraditional ways or "are considered by the general public to be a scientist." The distribution by profession is pretty uneven, and the categorization of professions is a little odd (e.g., biophysics, botany, cancer, chemistry, climatology, computers, immunology, information technology, inventor, law, linguistics, management consultant), but Bailey points out in the introduction that women faced strong discrimination even into the late 1970s and often had career choices dictated to them. This theme is reflected in the biographical sketches, many of which detail the barriers that had to be overcome during the course of the subject's career. More than 300 women are included in this volume; profiles include full name, dates of birth and death, profession, education, and employment history and, generally, marital status along with a one-page sketch and citing references. Roughly half of the names Bailey includes here would be found in the major sources she investigated, e.g., American Men and Women of Science; the strength of this book is in bringing these women together so you don't need to consult a half-dozen references. Recommended for academic and public libraries.--Hilary Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A companion volume to the author's American Women in Science (ABC-CLIO, 1994), which covers scientists in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here, the 449 one- to two-page entries focus on individuals, mostly in the United States, who were born in 1920 or after and/or started their careers after 1950. The fields of engineering, physics, anthropology, medicine, computer science, psychology, and chemistry are the best represented. Among the people portrayed are Martine Kempf, a computer scientist who invented a voice-recognition microcomputer that enables persons with disabilities to drive cars, and Sharon Rose Matola, a conservationist who founded and directs the Belize Zoo in Central America. Fifty-two of the women are pictured in black-and-white photos, and Bailey notes where photographs of the others may be found. A bibliography appears at the end of each entry and at the end of the volume. The alphabetical list of names and the list by profession are helpful. An accurate, well-written, and useful resource.-P. A. Dolan, Illinois State University, Normal Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
A historical encyclopedia on women scientists in America. Concise biographies of 400 accomplished women who began their careers prior to 1950 include each woman's educational background, employment history, honors, and publications, and they place her achievements in the appropriate scientific and social context. Photos accompany some entries. Indexed by profession, name, and subject. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Zom Zoms
Against the odds, women have made contributions in every field of scientific endeavor. "American Women in Science" is a biographical treatment of more than 400 women in the social, physical, and medical sciences and technology who began their careers before 1950. Coverage ranges from early female scientists with no formal training, such as Elizabeth Agassiz, founder of Radcliffe College, to Nobel Prize winners Rosalyn Yalow and Barbara McClintock. Many women had to study in Europe, such as Gerty Theresa Cori at the University of Prague. Some were the first women to graduate from their institutions, such as Nora Barney, a civil engineer from Cornell University, or Florence Bascom, the first female doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. Contributors to home economics, such as Fannie Farmer, are treated as are popular nature writers. Minority women are included: Sophie Aberle, a Native American, and Katherine Dunham and Zora Neale Hurston, African Americans, all of whom were anthropologists The introduction is a historical overview of the professional opportunities that were open to female scientists in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. For many, government agencies offered employment. Each entry includes the birth and (when appropriate) death dates of the subject, as well as educational background and employment history. The accompanying essay of several paragraphs to a page describes achievements and major contributions to her particular field. Closing each entry is a bibliography of other sources in which the subject can be found. Black-and-white photographs are provided for about 45 of the women When this work was compared with other sources, such as "Women in Science" (MIT Press, 1986) or "Women in Chemistry and Physics" ["RBB" Ap 15 94], there was not much duplication. "Women in Chemistry and Physics", for example, treats only 75 women and they are not all Americans. "American Women in Science" is a unique reference source that highlights many women who have been neglected in other biographical sources. It is highly recommended for academic, public, and secondary school libraries.
From the Publisher

"Recommended for both lay readers and scholars."


Library Journal

"Indispensable to most reference collections."


School Library Journal

"This book pulls it all together in one very handy reference. General and academic libraries."



"This is a significant reference work that should certainly be purchased by all academic libraries, by libraries specializing in the sciences, by women's studies collections, and by public and high school libraries as well."



"This visually attractive, well formatted, collective biography of women working in natural and physical sciences during the last 150 years will be of use in libraries attempting to improve their coverage of women's contributions in science. Its ease of use would make it valuable in schools."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874369212
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/1998
  • Pages: 492
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

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