Women Scientists in America, Volume 2
Before Affirmative Action, 1940-1972
Margaret Rossiter's widely hailed Women Scientists in America: Struggles and Strategies to 1940 marked the beginning of a pioneering effort to interpret the history of American women scientists. That effort continues in this provocative sequel that covers the crucial years of World War II and beyond. Rossiter begins by showing how the acute labor shortage brought on by the war seemed to hold out new hope for women professionals, especially in the sciences. But the public posture of welcoming women into the scientific professions masked a deep-seated opposition to change. Rossiter proves that despite frustrating obstacles created by the patriarchal structure and values of universities, government, and industry, women scientists made genuine contributions to their fields, grew in professional stature, and laid the foundation for the breakthroughs that followed 1972.
About the Author
Margaret W. Rossiter is the Marie Underhill Noll Professor of the History of Science at Cornell University and editor of Isis and Osiris. Her book Women Scientists in America: Struggles and Strategies to 1940 is also available from Johns Hopkins.
"A detailed account of the status of women scientists during an important transition period... Offering valuable information on women scientists and suggesting additional research opportunities, Rossiter's second volume stands as a significant contribution to both women's history and the history of American science."
"Highly readable and exquisitely informative. Rossiter's documentation of this gloomy chapter in the history of women striving to make a place for themselves in science serves as a pungent antidote for questions concerning the fairness of affirmative action."
"What we have here is a remarkable example of historian as detective... The attention Rossiter gives to identifying individuals and the details she provides about marriage, barriers... underrecognition, disappointments, and—yes—real accomplishments and rewards breathes life into her frequently poignant account."
"Rossiter's resourcefulness and thoroughness yield a cornucopia of information... [Her] formidable achievement is to provide a full, complex picture of the marginalisation of American women scientists in this era... I recommend this book to anyone involved in science: the questions about the sexual politics of science it tackles and provokes are too important to be ignored."
"Rossiter marshals an astounding array of evidence to assess women's work, roles, productivity, and advances as American scientists. Not content to study only those women who held collegiate faculty posts, she also examines female scientists in government, industry, and self-employment, devoting strong chapters to each... Most impressive in its careful, scientific approach to data that others have previously offered, analyzed, and packaged."
"An engaging and eye-opening book... This is a story not only of science, but of the resolution and courage of women scientists who struggled to continue in their professions even when confronted repeatedly with adversity."
|Johns Hopkins University Press|
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