When you were a kid, did you ever lay down on your grandparent’s floor flipping through the pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica? Who cared that the book was 20 or 50 years old? The information was just so interesting! That’s how I feel reading Women In Science by Rachel Ignotofsky.
If you follow me on social media, you know that I love to celebrate women in the Science and Technology fields. (Women in STEM rock!) I was brought up by strong women – my mom (the Professor) started a Masters in Science program from scratch, and my stepmother was the first woman Stockbroker in the state of New Jersey. I didn’t really have a choice but to always be learning! Ms. Ignotofsky has streamlined the process of learning about interesting scientific women by researching 50 of them from 350AD to the present day.
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What I loved:
- She provided little snippets of information that float around her creative illustrations. (See the image below of a sample page from the book.)
- She thoroughly researched each woman and captured the most important details in a one-page overview. Who influenced each person? What was their education? What obstacles did they need to overcome?
- In addition to the 50 women, she included a brief acknowledgment of 14 other women scientists.
- She has several pages dedicated to additional information about Lab Tools, STEM statistics, and a great glossary. (The glossary includes more of her illustrations!)
- Ms. Ignotofsky created a general Timeline with dates of interest from Hypatia (a mathematician living in Alexandria around 400AD) to today. The timeline includes the first women to reach different milestones, along with different US laws which are aimed at reversing discrimination towards women in various forms.
How can you choose just fifty women? What about Mileva Maric? She was a physicist who is said to have contributed enormously to Albert Einstein’s work. (Sarcasm alert: She was probably called Mrs. Albert Einstein.) How about Alexa Canady? She was the first black woman to become a Neurosurgeon. But in just a short 127-page book, there really wasn’t the space to include information about many more women.
Even such a short book sparks the mind to go looking for more. Just type “First woman who…” into Google and see what turns up. What a wonderful rabbit hole to fall into!
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