Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries, Second Edition

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Since 1901 there have been over three hundred recipients of the Nobel Prize in the sciences. Only ten of them -- about 3 percent -- have been women. Why? In this updated version of Nobel Prize Women in Science, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne explores the reasons for this astonishing disparity by examining 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. The book reveals the relentless discrimination these women faced both as ...
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Overview

Since 1901 there have been over three hundred recipients of the Nobel Prize in the sciences. Only ten of them -- about 3 percent -- have been women. Why? In this updated version of Nobel Prize Women in Science, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne explores the reasons for this astonishing disparity by examining 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. The book reveals the relentless discrimination these women faced both as students and as researchers. Their success was due to the fact that they were passionately in love with science.

The book begins with Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in physics. Readers are then introduced to Christiane Nusslein-Volhard, Emmy Noether, Lise Meitner, Barbara McClintock, Chien-Shiung Wu, and Rosalind Franklin. These and other remarkable women portrayed here struggled against gender discrimination, raised families, and became political and religious leaders. They were mountain climbers, musicians, seamstresses, and gourmet cooks. Above all, they were strong, joyful women in love with discovery.

Nobel Prize Women in Science is a startling and revealing look into the history of science and the critical and inspiring role that women have played in the drama of scientific progress.

The first book to examine the lives and accomplishments of women who have received the Nobel Prize--and those who contributed to prize-winning projects--this fascinating book introduces readers to Marie Curie, who unlocked the key to understanding the atomic nucleus, Emmy Noether, who laid the mathematical foundation for Eistein's theory of relativity, and others. Photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

Polish American Journal
"Fascinating stories of the personal lives of these women as well as their scientific work provide compelling reading. ...an excellent gift for...anyone interested in science."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Dec.)
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.
Booknews
Exploring the reasons why only nine of the more than 300 recipients of the Nobel Prize in science have been women, science writer McGrayne examines the lives and achievements of 14 women scientists who either won a Nobel Prize or played a crucial role in a Nobel Prize-winning project. Their stories are case studies of triumph over relentless gender discrimination. B&w photographs throughout. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780309072700
  • Publisher: National Academies Press
  • Publication date: 3/12/2001
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Author to Reader
1 A Passion for Discovery 3
First Generation Pioneers
2 Marie Sklodowska Curie 11
3 Lise Meitner 37
4 Emmy Noether 64
Second Generation
5 Gerty Radnitz Cori 93
6 Irene Joliot-Curie 117
7 Barbara McClintock 144
8 Maria Goeppert Mayer 175
9 Rita Levi-Montalcini 201
10 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin 225
11 Chien-Shiung Wu 255
12 Gertrude Elion 280
13 Rosalind Franklin 304
14 Rosalyn Sussman Yalow 333
The New Generation
15 Jocelyn Bell Burnell 359
Afterword 381
Notes 383
Index 403
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