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Cover for Forces of Nature

Forces of Nature

The Women who Changed Science

Anna Reser, Leila McNeill


List Price: 30.00*
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From the ancient world to the present women have been critical to the progress of science, yet their importance is overlooked, their stories lost, distorted, or actively suppressed. Forces of Nature sets the record straight and charts the fascinating history of women’s discoveries in science.
In the ancient and medieval world, women served as royal physicians and nurses, taught mathematics, studied the stars, and practiced midwifery. As natural philosophers, physicists, anatomists, and botanists, they were central to the great intellectual flourishing of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. More recently women have been crucially involved in the Manhattan Project, pioneering space missions and much more. Despite their record of illustrious achievements, even today very few women win Nobel Prizes in science.
In this thoroughly researched, authoritative work, you will discover how women have navigated a male-dominated scientific culture – showing themselves to be pioneers and trailblazers, often without any recognition at all. Included in the book are the stories of:
  • Hypatia of Alexandria, one of the earliest recorded female mathematicians
  • Maria Cunitz who corrected errors in Kepler’s work
  • Emmy Noether who discovered fundamental laws of physics
  • Vera Rubin one of the most influential astronomers of the twentieth century
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell who helped discover pulsars

Praise For Forces of Nature: The Women who Changed Science

"Full of eye-opening information, this unique perspective on women’s history will enthrall history buffs, science enthusiasts, and feminists."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Moving from the ancient world to the modern era, Anna Reser and Leila McNeill's Forces of Nature examines women's unsung contributions to various scientific fields."—Lauren Sharkey and K.W. Colyard, Bustle

"...the scientists in this lively book inspire and fascinate."—CARLA DELGADO, Mental Floss

"This volume brings to light the contributions of a multitude of women in science over millennia."—Albuquerque Journal

Frances Lincoln, 9780711248977, 272pp.

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

About the Author

Anna Reser is an American historian of science and technology. She holds a PhD in the history of science, technology, and medicine from the University of Oklahoma. She is the co-founder co-editor in chief  of Lady Science magazine, and her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Real Life,, Technology’s Stories and more.

Leila McNeill is an American writer, editor, and historian of science. She is an Affiliate Fellow in the History of Science at the University of Oklahoma and the co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Lady Science magazine. She has been a columnist for and BBC Future, and she has been published by The Atlantic, The Baffler, JSTOR Daily, amongst others.