Wow, this book has left me wanting to know so much more about all of these women! I’ve said this a couple of places already, but I really think I need to buy a copy of this book and use it to inspire further reading. I hope you’ve all been as intrigued as I have been. Here are some discussion questions for the second half of the book:
- Did you learn anything that especially surprised you?
- If you had to go to work in one of the scientific fields described in the book, which one would you choose and why?
- Inspired by a comment by Kim of Time 2 Read, I’m curious – How do you feel about Sally Ride’s recommendation that NASA focus their efforts more here on Earth?
- Are there any other books that you’d recommend for further reading on science history, especially female scientists?
1. Ha! I’m immediately sorry I wrote this question, because the list of things that surprised me is so long. Right now, I’m thinking about how inspirational and surprising the contributions of women to computer science section was, so we’ll go with that.
2. Since I work in a field that’s a mix of the genetics and technology section, I suppose that answers that question 🙂 I found Florence Nightingale’s work particularly inspiring, since I would love to do more applying computational methods to problems in human health in the future.
3. I’m pretty OK with it. I’m very much in favor of basic research, research without obvious practical applications, just to answer questions about how the world works. In that spirit, I would love to see NASA continuing to explore and push for epic space missions. However, I also think we have a lot of big problems here at home that currently aren’t being addressed by large, interdisciplinary teams with the budget to make a practical different. Whether or not NASA is the organization to take on these challenges, I think we need a group similar to NASA to do so – a group that would recruit elite scientists and engineers, with a large budget and even larger goals for improving life on Earth by tackling challenges such as poverty and global warming.
4. This is something else I’ve said a few places already, but I really loved The Stargazer’s Sister, the story of an awesome female astronomer. I’m also reminded of a biography I read about one of the women in this book, Barbara McClintock, called A Feeling for the Organism. That’s all I can come up with right now, but I’m going to keep trying to build a list.