Headstrong

Headstrong

52 Women Who Changed Science-- and the World

Book - 2015 | First edition
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Fifty-two inspiring and insightful profiles of history's brightest female scientists.

"Rachel Swaby's no-nonsense and needed Headstrong dynamically profiles historically overlooked female visionaries in science, technology, engineering, and math."-- Elle

In 2013, the New York Times published an obituary for Yvonne Brill. It began: "She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job, and took eight years off from work to raise three children." It wasn't until the second paragraph that readers discovered why the Times had devoted several hundred words to her life: Brill was a brilliant rocket scientist who invented a propulsion system to keep communications satellites in orbit, and had recently been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Among the questions the obituary--and consequent outcry--prompted were, Who are the role models for today's female scientists, and where can we find the stories that cast them in their true light?

Headstrong delivers a powerful, global, and engaging response. Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our every day, Rachel Swaby's vibrant profiles span centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each one's ideas developed, from their first moment of scientific engagement through the research and discovery for which they're best known. This fascinating tour reveals 52 women at their best--while encouraging and inspiring a new generation of girls to put on their lab coats.

Publisher: New York :, Broadway Books,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780553446791
Branch Call Number: ANF 509.252 SWA
ANF 509.252 SWA
Characteristics: xiv, 273 pages ; 21 cm

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From Library Staff

Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our every day, Rachel Swaby’s vibrant profiles span centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each one’s ideas developed, from their first moment of scientific enga... Read More »


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Tigard_RachaelH Mar 12, 2019

Inspired by the original New York Times obituary written for Yvonne Brill in 2013 (which seemed to highlight her “mean beef stroganoff” over having been a pioneering rocket scientist), this book presents a collection of short biographies featuring 52 women and their brilliant (but often overlooked) contributions to science and math. Some names you may recognize, but what about Inge Lehmann who discovered Earth’s inner core, Helen Taussig who revolutionized heart surgery, or Chien-Shiung Wu who disproved what was supposedly a fundamental law of physics? With three to four pages dedicated to each scientist, this book offers an accessible, enlightening, and engaging look at some of science’s most courageous and intelligent thinkers.

e
eo206
Oct 15, 2016

I was so disappointed in this book. The vast majority of women featured are white. Women of color have made significant contributions to science and failing to include them makes their contributions invisible. Skip this book and pick up Rad Women and Rad Women of the World which includes women of color. Girls, white and girls of color, benefit from seeing diversity.

brontelit87 Jun 17, 2015

What a great book! This book introduced me to dozens of women scientists that I had never heard of. The chapters are great overviews of each woman's contribution to all areas of science. Swaby does not focus exclusively on their personal lives, which is great. This is an important book that is appropriate for people of all ages. The only complaint that I have is that Marie Curie was not included. Swaby should not have assumed that everyone knows about Marie Curie. Come on, she won two Nobel prizes and she definitely deserved to be in this book. In any case, this was a fascinating read. Highly recommended!

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