Published: May 2015
In March 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. The obituary--and consequent outcry in response--highlighted not only that women in science are often treated with less respect than their male counterparts, but also that there are still so few women in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and medicine). This is in part because they are lacking the critical encouragement and support they need to help them advance.
Headstrong delivers a powerful and entertaining response to the question- Who are the role models for today's female scientists? Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our every day, these engaging profiles span centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each subject's ideas developed, from their first moment of engagement with science through the research and discovery for which they're best known. Finally, it gives these 52 lives the attention and respect they deserve--with the aim to encourage and inspire a new generation of girls to put on their lab coats.
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