Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World

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Fifty-two inspiring and insightful profiles of history’s brightest female scientists.

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.
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About the author

Rachel Swaby is a freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in the Runner's WorldWiredO, The Oprah Magazine, New Yorker.com, Afar, and others. She is a senior editor at Longshot magazine, the editor-in-chief of The Connective: Issue 1, a former research editor at Wired, and a past presenter at Pop-Up magazine. She lives in Brooklyn.

www.rachelswaby.com
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Additional Information

Publisher
Broadway Books
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Published on
Apr 7, 2015
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780553446807
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / History
Science / Reference
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Dava Sobel
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel, the "inspiring" (People), little-known true story of women's landmark contributions to astronomy

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In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women's colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates.

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Jon Krakauer
From bestselling author Jon Krakauer, a stark, powerful, meticulously reported narrative about a series of sexual assaults at the University of Montana ­— stories that illuminate the human drama behind the national plague of campus rape
 
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Rachel Swaby
Florence Nightingale. Sally Ride. Ada Lovelace. These names and others are etched in history and included here as part of an awe-inspiring collection of profiles of thirty-three of the most influential women in science—women whose vision, creativity, passion, and dedication have changed the world.

Aspiring scientists, young history enthusiasts, and children who enjoy learning about the world will be fascinated by these riveting snapshots—and parents who enjoyed the film Hidden Figures will find this to be the perfect extension.
 
Covering important advancements made by women in fields such as biology, medicine, astronomy, and technology, author Rachel Swaby explains that people aren’t born brilliant scientists. They observe and experiment as kids and as adults, testing ideas again and again, each time learning something new.
 
Kids are sure to come away with a renewed curiosity about the world and the realization that the road to discovery can be positively thrilling.

 
“This collective biography is most timely. An interesting, engaging collection . . . that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue their own scientific curiosities.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The descriptions of the women’s lives often have a quiet poetry. Readers . . . will find much to admire in these accomplished and unconventional women.” —Publishers Weekly

“Swaby’s powerful book serves as an indispensable reminder that women have always been essential to science and innovation. Certain to inspire the next generation of scientists.” —Nathalia Holt, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars
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