Thursday, August 24, 2017

Women In Science: 50 fearless pioneers who changed the world by Rachel Ignotofsky

Women in Science presents the stories of fifty remarkable women who pushed back against the social conventions and attitudes that limited their participation in science, to achieve their dream. In the past, women faced many restrictions in obtaining a higher education, often refused entry into most scientific disciplines and were usually not allowed to present their research at conventions or publish their work in scientific journals. But where there is a will, there is a way. Despite overwhelming odds and little recognition, many women achieved their dreams and made remarkable contributions that helped improve the lives of people.

Ignotofsky's Women In Science presents some of these women, many of whom will not be known to younger or older readers. Among those profiled are the well known:
  • Kathryn Johnson, physicist and mathematician whose story was told in the recent film, Hidden Figures.
  • Barbara McClintock, ctyogeneticist who discovered that genes could "jump".
  • Rosalind Franklin, chemist and x-ray crystallographer who discovered the shape of DNA.
  • Marie Curie, chemist and physicist who (along with her husband Pierre) discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium and who also discovered radiation.
  • Rachel Carson, marine biologist and conservationist, who wrote Silent Spring and was the impetus for the banning of the pesticide DDT.
  • Ada Lovelace,a mathematician wrote the first recognized computer program
  • Elizabeth Blackwell, became the first woman doctor in America.
The profiles are listed chronologically, based on each woman's birthdate, beginning with Hypatia, a Greek astronomer. Each profile consists of two pages; one page containing a short bio, the other a detailed illustration of the woman scientist done in Ignotofsky's unique style. Ignotofsky's artwork in Women In Science is a testament to her "passion for taking dense information and making it fun and accessible." Ignotofsky who is an honors graduate of the Tyler School of Art's graphic design program believes "that illustration is a powerful tool that can make learning exciting." Readers will find that the author-illustrator has made each of the fifty biographies fascinating reading and an inspiration to young women, especially those who are interested in science. Rachel Ignotofsky's website,  provides more information about her work.

At the back of the book there's a detailed section outlining sources including films, websites and books, as well as an index.Women In Science is a must-read for any girl interested in science because it will give her a sense of history, the struggle women before her faced and the courage to follow her dreams, should that dream be to become a scientist.

Book Details:

Women In Science: 50 fearless pioneers who changed the world by Rachel Ignotofsky
Berkeley, California:  Ten Speed Press       2016
127 pp.

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