It’s a scientific fact: Women rock!
A charmingly illustrated and educational book,
New York Times best seller
Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more!
— BrainPickings - Best Science Books of the Year
A New York Times Best Seller
Best Science Books of 2016, Science Friday
Greatest Science Books of 2016, BrainPickings.org
"Years ago, I saw a photograph of a young boy in a collection of images from
Life magazine. He sits on a stoop with his head thrown back, ecstatically hugging a new pair of shoes. I can imagine a young girl feeling that way about this book. Even before you start to read, the spell is cast. The illustrations are gorgeous, irresistible whimsy. The cover lettering shines silver against a caressable black matte surface. And then you start reading. Here are women who dared, who pioneered, who took risks and changed the world. Here is Jane Goodall as a young girl, scaring the family''s chickens by "trying to observe how they laid eggs." Here is Alice Ball, discovering a cure for leprosy. Here''s microbiologist Esther Lederberg, so broke she cooked up the leftover frog legs from the dissection lab. Here''s Rosalind Franklin, documenting DNA''s distinctive double helix (only to have her work pirated by Watson and Crick). Here are physicists, astronauts, mathematicians. Vulcanologist and entomologists. Inventors and Nobel laureates. Here is
inspiration. I can''t wait to wrap this book up and give it to my granddaughter Gus the moment she''s old enough."
Mary Roach, author of Gulp, for Google Play''s "Our Favorite Authors’ Favorite Books of 2016"
"This charming encyclopedia includes a page of text and a fanciful drawing of the women scientists you’ve heard of — and plenty who you haven’t! The book has good coverage of the 1800s and early 1900s — a critical time when women’s expanding participation in science was changing the very structure of how knowledge is pursued. Interspersed with gems like a colorful timeline of women’s achievements, and a cartoon celebrating a wonderful hoard of lab supplies, Ignotofsky’s profiles of diverse female scientists is a great addition to the shelf of any student, of any age."
– Hope Jahren, author of Lab Girl, for The Fader
"In this wittily illustrated, accessible volume, Rachel Ignotofsky highlights 50 women who changed the course of science."
– Wall Street Journal
"With the help of eye-catching artwork, Ignotofsky celebrates not just astronauts, but also the engineers, biologists, mathematicians, and physicists who’ve blazed a trail for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields from the ancient to modern world. The book elevates this information with beautiful and instructive infographics that delve into topics like the number of women currently working in STEM fields."
– Entertainment Weekly (online)
"With short, inspiring stories and the accessibility of a graphic novel. . .the perfect book to share with the science- and tech-minded people (male and female, young and old) in your life. . . .The must-read, girl-power STEM book."
"This book of illustrated biographies of scientific pioneers is hands-down gorgeous. . . .Kids will love paging through this, looking at all the detailed drawings, but they''ll likely have to rip it out of the hands of the adults who are marveling at each new page of factoids."
– Sarah Mirk, Bitch Media
"The book is a beautifully curated collection of personal narratives from female scientists from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines, with a dash of whimsy thrown in."
"I applaud Ignotofsky and her publisher for telling these important stories about women through such a rich, visual medium. The world needs more books like this."
– ScientificAmerican.com''s Symbiartic
". . .an illustrated homage to some of the most influential and inspiring women in STEM. . . .Ignotofsky captures the heartbreaking inequalities that only amplify the impressiveness of these women’s feats."
– Maria Popova, BrainPickings.org
". . .a clever introduction to women scientists through history."
– Science Friday
"True fact: This book is so cool that I had to go steal it back from my fifth grade daughter to review it. . . .this book perfectly balances well-researched facts with gorgeous, whimsical illustrations making it a favorite you just can’t put down."
– Cool Mom Picks
Advance praise for Women in Science:
“If there were constellations celebrating the incredible accomplishments of women in science, Rachel Ignotofsky''s illustrations would serve as the blueprints. As Ignotofsky floats NASA computer programmer and mathematician Annie Easley amid rockets and stars, surrounds Higgs boson discoverer Sau Lan Wu with particles, and cradles Barbara McClintock with corn and chromosomes, she anchors her dreamy depictions into our brains.
Women in Science captures the joy of so many essential discoveries while also celebrating the extraordinary lives of the women who''ve achieved them.”
– Rachel Swaby, author of
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science—and the World
“I wish I had a daughter so I could give her a copy of Rachel Ignotofsky''s lovingly illustrated
Women in Science. In addition to Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, and Ada Lovelace, the book profiles dozens of less familiar female scientists—African American, Asian, Jewish, Russian, French, in stylish dresses, lab coats, trousers, spacesuits, shorts—whose accomplishments in astronomy, physics, mathematics, biology, psychology, and computer science came as news even to me. Ignotofsky provides young women with the courage and confidence to follow the exciting paths these pioneers have blazed before them.”
– Eileen Pollack, author of The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys'' Club
Women in Science is a comprehensive and stunningly illustrated tribute to brilliant female minds. Through real stories of perseverance and passion, Rachel Ignotofsky affirms the important role of women in shaping humankind''s scientific journey. The book offers the next generation of young women a diverse set of relatable and enormously inspiring role models.”
– Lisa Congdon, illustrator and author
“In Rachel Ignotofsky’s edifying and inspiring book we meet some of history’s most remarkable women. Each profile contains extraordinary stories of obstacles and achievements. The drawings float on the pages’ dark backgrounds, making each figure appear to hover in the sky like a constellation. That’s what the reader is doing in this book: stargazing.”
– Lauren Redniss, author of Radioactive and Thunder & Lightning
“Paired with her delightfully whimsical drawings, the concise and accessible profiles of women scientists in Rachel Ignotofsky’s book reveal the setbacks faced by women in male-dominated scientific careers and show how these women cared deeply about making the world—and the world of science—a more equal place. With its enthusiastic tone and its colorful layout, this inviting introduction to women in science urges its readers to take advantage of their education and to participate in scientific discoveries of their own.”
– Rory Dicker, author of A History of U.S. Feminisms
Rachel Ignotofsky grew up in New Jersey on a healthy diet of cartoons and pudding. She graduated with honors from Tyler School of Art’s graphic design program in 2011. Now she lives in beautiful Kansas City, Missouri, where she spends all day drawing and learning as much as she can. She has a passion for taking dense information and making it fun and accessible and is dedicated to creating educational works of art.
Rachel is inspired by history and science and believes that illustration is a powerful tool that can make learning exciting. She uses her work to spread her message about education, scientific literacy, and powerful women. She hopes this book inspires girls and women to follow their passions and dreams.
This is Rachel’s first book and she plans on writing many more in the future. To see more of Rachel’s educational art and learn more about her, please visit www.rachelignotofskydesign.com.
Nothing says trouble like a woman in pants. That was the attitude in the 1930s, anyway; when Barbara McClintock wore slacks at the University of Missouri, it was considered scandalous. Even worse, she was feisty, direct, incredibly smart, and twice as sharp as most of her male colleagues. She did things her way to get the best results, even if it meant working late with her students, who were breaking curfew. If you think these seem like good qualities for scientist, then you are right. But back then, these weren’t necessarily considered good qualities in a woman. Her intelligence, her self-confidence, her willingness to break rules, and of course her pants were all considered shocking!
Barbara had already made her mark on the field of genetics with her groundbreaking work at Cornell University, mapping chromosomes using corn. This work is still important in scientific history. Yet while working at the University of Missouri Barbara was seen as bold and unladylike. The faculty excluded her from meetings and gave her little support with her research. When she found out they would fire her if she got married and there was no possibility of promotion, she decided she had had enough.
Risking her entire career, she packed her bags. With no plan, except an unwillingness to compromise her worth, Barbara went off to find her dream job. This decision would allow her to joyously research all day and eventually make the discovery of jumping genes. This discovery would win her a Nobel Prize and forever change how we view genetics.
Barbara McClintock’s story is not unique. As long as humanity has asked questions about our world, men and women have looked to the stars, under rocks, and through microscopes to find the answers. Although both men and women have the same thirst for knowledge, women have not always been given the same opportunities to explore the answers.
In the past, restrictions on women’s access to education was not uncommon. Women were often not allowed to publish scientific papers. Women were expected to grow up to exclusively become good wives and mothers while their husbands provided for them. Many people thought women were just not as smart as men. The women in this book had to fight these stereotypes to have the careers they wanted. They broke rules, published under pseudonyms, and worked for the love of learning alone. When others doubted their abilities, they had to believe in themselves.
When women finally began gaining wider access to higher education, there was usually a catch. Often they would be given no space to work, no funding, and no recognition. Not allowed to enter the university building because of her gender, Lise Meitner did her radiochemistry experiments in a dank basement. Without funding for a lab, physicist and chemist Marie Curie handled dangerous radioactive elements in a tiny, dusty shed. After making one of the most important discoveries in the history of astronomy, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin still got little recognition, and for decades her gender limited her to work as a technical assistant. Creativity, persistence, and a love of discovery were the greatest tools these women had.
Marie Curie is now a household name, but throughout history there have been many other great and important women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Many did not receive the recognition they deserved at the time and were forgotten. When thinking of physics, we should name not only Albert Einstein but also the genius mathematician Emmy Noether. We should all know that it was Rosalind Franklin who discovered the double helix structure of DNA, not James Watson and Francis Crick. While admiring the advances in computer technology, let us remember not only Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but also Grace Hopper, the creator of modern programming.
Throughout history many women have risked everything in the name of science. This book tells the stories of these scientists, from ancient Greece to the modern day, who in the face of “No” said, “Try and stop me.”