By Marelene F. Rayner-Canham, Geoffrey W. Rayner-Canham
This paintings contains biographical essays on 23 ladies who labored in atomic technological know-how through the first 20 years of the 20 th century, together with Marie Curie, Lise Meitner, Irene Joliot-Curie, and a bunch of lesser-known girls scientists whose existence tales have by no means earlier than been informed. The biographies spotlight the lives and paintings of those girls, noting their contributions and the demanding situations they confronted and overcame. Taken jointly the essays list their collective reviews, highlighting the help community that built between them and the explanations girls have been extra foremost during this box within the early a part of this century than in different sciences. via getting better and recording person and collective histories of the various eminent girls in radioactivity whose paintings had a big impression at the clinical discoveries of the final century, a extra whole, gender-integrated view of the heritage of this attention-grabbing box emerges.
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Extra resources for A Devotion to Their Science: Pioneer Women of Radioactivity
For these particular women, the focus of their lives became the study of the nature of the atom. Many of them depended on their supervisors, mentors, and colleagues for encouragement and support in their work. 1 Yet many women participated in the venture to discover the secrets of the atom. In fact, they seemed to play a disproportionately large share in the research work in radioactivity compared to many other fields of physical science. So why have they been overlooked? As with other aspects of life, it was almost impossible for women to reach the upper ranks of academia to gain the authority, prestige, research workers, and research grants that were necessary to make a name in the scientific community.
Meitner replied: "May be I could add that I never was influenced in my decisions by any question of "career" or personal success. "72 JJ. Thomson had four women students as researchers during the period of our study: Harriet Brooks, Fanny Cook Gates, Elizabeth Laird, and Jesse Mabel Wilkins Slater. 73 Thomson's correspondence suggests that he had a tolerant if patronizing attitude towards women in physics. F. "74 Of all the senior researchers in early radioactivity, only Bertram Boltwood was openly hostile to women.
45 Mary Creese writes, for example, that "a second and more specific factor in the success of women biochemists associated with Cambridge was the role played by [F. Gowland] Hopkins, whose career there began in 1898. At the time when there were practicall no women research workers in any of the other university departments at Cambridge, Hopkins gave them places in his, despite the criticism which this brought him. "46 It was not just a question of admitting women students to the group. Seyre is convinced that, at least in crystallography, it was the non-aggressive and friendly attitudes of the supervisors that were so vital to the encouragement of women: "There is something in the ancient history of crystallography that is hard to isolate but nevertheless was there, that I can best describe as modesty.
A Devotion to Their Science: Pioneer Women of Radioactivity by Marelene F. Rayner-Canham, Geoffrey W. Rayner-Canham