Neuroscientist Eve Marder has spent forty years studying thirty neurons on the stomach of a lobster. Her focus on this tiny network of cells has yielded valuable insights into the much more complex workings of the human brain; she has become a leading voice in neuroscience. In Lessons from the Lobster, Charlotte Nassim describes Marder's work and its significance accessibly and engagingly, tracing the evolution of a supremely gifted scientist's ideas.
Many girls want to become scientists when they grow up, just like many boys do. But for these girls, the struggle to do what they love and to be treated with respect has been much harder because of the discrimination and bias in our society. In Women in Microbiology, we meet women who, despite these obstacles and against tough odds, have become scientific leaders and revered mentors. The women profiled in this collection range from historic figures like Alice Catherine Evans and Ruth Ella Moore to modern heroes like Michele Swanson and Katrina Forest. What binds all of these remarkable women are a passion for their work, a zest for life, a warm devotion to mentoring others--especially younger women--and a sense of justice and fairness that they are willing to fight tirelessly to obtain. Each story is unique, but each woman featured in Women in Microbiology has done so much to expand our knowledge of the natural world while also making it easier for the next generation of scientists to work collaboratively and in an atmosphere where people are judged by their intellect, imagination, skill, and commitment to service regardless of gender or race. Women in Microbiology is a wonderful collection of stories that will inspire everyone, but especially young women and men who are wondering how to find their way in the working world.
NOBEL PRIZE WINNER * A remarkable memoir of courage, faith, and the power of persistence about one woman's extraodinary journey from her childhood in rural Kenya to the world stage. "[Maathai's] story provides uplifting proof of the power of perseverance--and of the power of principled, passionate people to change their countries and inspire the world." --The Washington Post In Unbowed, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary life. When Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, she began a vital poor people's environmental movement, focused on the empowerment of women, that soon spread across Africa. Persevering through run-ins with the Kenyan government and personal losses, and jailed and beaten on numerous occasions, Maathai continued to fight tirelessly to save Kenya's forests and to restore democracy to her beloved country.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits.
Women are contributing to disciplines once the sole domain of men. Field biology has been no different. The history of women field biologists, embedded in a history largely made and recorded by men, has never been written. Compilations of biographies have been assembled, but the narrative--their story--has never been told. In part, this is because many expressed their passion for nature as writers, artists, collectors, and educators during eras when women were excluded from the male-centric world of natural history and science. The history of women field biologists is intertwined with men's changing views of female intellect and with increasing educational opportunities available to women. Given the preponderance of today's professional female ecologists, animal behaviorists, systematists, conservation biologists, wildlife biologists, restoration ecologists, and natural historians, it is time to tell this story--the challenges and hardships they faced and still face, and the prominent role they have played and increasingly play in understanding our natural world. For a broader perspective, we profile selected European women field biologists, but our primary focus is the journey of women field biologists in North America. Each woman highlighted here followed a unique path. For some, personal wealth facilitated their work; some worked alongside their husbands. Many served as invisible assistants to men, receiving little or no recognition. Others were mavericks who carried out pioneering studies and whose published works are still read and valued today. All served as inspiration and proved to the women who would follow that women are as capable as men at studying nature in nature. Their legacy lives on today. The 75 female field biologists interviewed for this book are further testament that women have the intellect, stamina, and passion for fieldwork.
In Rachel Carson and Her Sisters, Robert K. Musil redefines the achievements and legacy of environmental pioneer and scientist Rachel Carson, linking her work to a wide network of American women activists and writers and introducing her to a new, contemporary audience.Rachel Carson was the first American to combine two longstanding, but separate strands of American environmentalism--the love of nature and a concern for human health. Widely known for her 1962 best-seller, Silent Spring, Carson is today often perceived as a solitary "great woman," whose work single-handedly launched a modern environmental movement. But as Musil demonstrates, Carson's life's work drew upon and was supported by already existing movements, many led by women, in conservation and public health. On the fiftieth anniversary of her death, this book helps underscore Carson's enduring environmental legacy and brings to life the achievements of women writers and advocates, such as Ellen Swallow Richards, Dr. Alice Hamilton, Terry Tempest Williams, Sandra Steingraber, Devra Davis, and Theo Colborn, all of whom overcame obstacles to build and lead the modern American environmental movement.
The renowned British primatologist continues the "engrossing account" of her time among the chimpanzees of Gombe, Tanzania (Publishers Weekly). In her classic, In the Shadow of Man, Jane Goodall wrote of her first ten years at Gombe. In Through a Window she continues the story, painting a more complete and vivid portrait of our closest relatives. On the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe is a community where the principal residents are chimpanzees. Through Goodall's eyes we watch young Figan's relentless rise to power and old Mike's crushing defeat. We learn how one mother rears her children to succeed and another dooms hers to failure. We witness horrifying murders, touching moments of affection, joyous births, and wrenching deaths. As Goodall compellingly tells the story of this intimately intertwined community, we are shown human emotions stripped to their essence. In the mirror of chimpanzee life, we see ourselves reflected.
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER * NATIONAL BESTSELLER * Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life--but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. "Does for botany what Oliver Sacks's essays did for neurology, what Stephen Jay Gould's writings did for paleontology." --The New York Times In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father's college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work "with both the heart and the hands." She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.
The 25th anniversary edition of this seminal work on autism and neurodiversity provides "a uniquely fascinating view" (Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don't Understand) of the differences in our brains, and features updated research and insights. With a foreword by Oliver Sacks. Originally published in 1995 as an unprecedented look at autism, Grandin writes from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person to give a report from "the country of autism." Introducing a groundbreaking model which analyzes people based on their patterns of thought, Grandin "charts the differences between her life and the lives of those who think in words" (The Philadelphia Inquirer). For the new edition, Grandin has written a new afterword addressing recent developments in the study of autism, including new diagnostic criteria, advancements in genetic research, updated tips, insights into working with children and young people with autism, and more.
More than a decade ago, Juli Berwald left a career in ocean science to raise a family in landlocked Austin, Texas, but jellyfish drew her back to the sea. Recent, massive blooms of billions of jellyfish have clogged power plants, decimated fisheries, and caused millions of dollars of damage. Driven by questions about how overfishing, coastal development, and climate change were contributing to a jellyfish population explosion, Juli embarked on a scientific odyssey. She traveled the globe to meet the biologists who devote their careers to jellies, hitched rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild, raised jellyfish in her dining room, and throughout it all marveled at the complexity of these alluring and ominous biological wonders. Gracefully blending personal memoir with crystal-clear distillations of science, Spineless is the story of how Juli learned to navigate and ultimately embrace her ambition, her curiosity, and her passion for the natural world. She discovers that jellyfish science is more than just a quest for answers. It's a call to realize our collective responsibility for the planet we share.