Women doing science –

Londa Schiebinger – “Not so few”

“great women” – Marie Curie, Lise Meitner, Barbara


lesser-known – Caroline Herschel, Emilie du Chatelet

               (“Madame Newton”), Rosalind Franklin


Schiebinger – “Why so few?”

Institutional/social barriers:

   Lack of access to education


   Science as tough profession

Involved with science in alternate ways: illustrators, translators, women’s colleges


Why does it matter?

   Fairness, opportunity, fun

   Sometimes women scientists ask different questions –   

   case of primatology, Jane Goodall



Women doing medicine –

   Doctors/nurses/healers – Elizabeth Blackwell, Alice

   Hamilton, Margaret Sanger


   Why so few? Lack of access

   Alternate path – Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia



Women doing engineering –

   Students at land-grant colleges early 1900s

   WWII – Curtiss-Wright Cadettes (ISU)

   Postwar – RPI, Georgia Tech, Caltech


   Why so few? Lack of access

   Socialization – boys’ toys vs. girls’ toys



Women as subjects of science –

Schiebinger – look at biology, psychology

Aristotle – woman as “mutilated man”

Idea carried into Middle Ages, into 19thC – Edward Clarke, women don’t have capacity to study hard in college (women’s colleges challenge such notions)



Women as subjects of medicine –

Aristotle/Galen – “hysteria”

History of pregnancy, childbirth, contraception

Modern horror stories – Dalkon Shield, DES

Feminist cause – 1974 Our Bodies, Ourselves

Activism – breast cancer research



Women as users/makers of technology –

Typewriters – lady clerks

Home equipment/kitchen appliances (ISU)

Cars – gas vs. electric

Aviation – Amelia Earhart, WASPs



Three principles –

1.   Finding women in science means knowing where to look.

2.   Science is not done in a vacuum.

3.   The answers you get depend on the questions you ask.