Sunday, March 26, 2006

Women in science books

I've been adding to my Amazon wishlist a series of books about women in science. But before I spend hundreds of dollars buying the whole selection, I was wondering whether any of my fabulous could make any recommendations for me.

Here's what I've found so far.
Have any of you read of any of these? What did you think of them? Were they helpful? Well-written? Is there something else you would recommend?


trillwing said...

If you're into women in science historically speaking, Rossiter's 2-vol. Women Scientists in America is a must-have.

Right now I'm reading Joyce Fletcher's Disappearing Acts: Gender, Power, and Relational Practice at Work, which is a study of women engineers. It's very well-written and interesting.

On the philosophical side, there's Sandra Harding's The Science Question in Feminism and Whose Science? Whose Knowledge?

The Science Education of American Girls (by Tolley) is a good historic look at how we got where we are today. I was shocked to learn that science used to be considered a subject for girls.

The Academic Kitchen (Maresi Nerad) is a fascinating look at how women at Berkeley were funneled into the domestic science program instead of the more traditional science departments.

There are also oodles of good books on women in science with "feminist" in the title, but their names elude me now.

I've skimmed The Science Glass Ceiling, but I'm afraid I can't remember much of it.

(FYI, I'm in the humanities and my dissertation is on American women natural scientists from 100 or so years ago. As my Ph.D. will be in cultural studies, I've had to read a lot of theory, too. I can send you the bibliographies from some of my early papers if you're interested in the more theory-leaning stuff. Feel free to e-mail me: trillwing -at-

Honeybee said...

I just received a copy of "Ms.Mentor's Advice for Women in Academia".

More of an Ann Landers-type bent to it, but it did open my eyes to some of the harsher realities of tenure-track jobs. I wish that she were kidding about half the crap women need to deal with to succeed.

Anonymous said...

I've read the Nobel Prize Women in Science book. It was interesting -- one chapter per winner or nearly winner (15 total). The emphasis was on what each woman overcame to do the science of their choosing. I thought it even does a reasonable job describing the science.

ScienceWoman said...

Trillwing- thanks for your comments. I think what I am looking for is personal stories where I can take away strategies for success and lessons learned. The books you describe sound really interesting though - maybe after the dissertation.

tortuga said...

I read part of "Door in the Dream". I enjoyed it but as it goes chronologically, the women who succeeded early in science were very well off financially, worked in their husbands' labs, and had professional help with their children. I only got as far as that section but I'm sure the later ones would be much less depressing and more relevant. (Though possibly more depressing to see how little has changed.)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm in the process of writing my masters thesis in the field of sociology of education. my thesis topic is exsperiences of third year women engineering majors. I could email you my reference list. Or if you're interested (are you in the process of writing a thesis or dissertation?) you can read my thesis.

michelle danda

Anonymous said...

Oh, my email address is

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Even though I have not read all of the books in the list, I must say that 'the science glass ceiling' is amazing. I definitely recommend it.

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