Notable Women in the Physical Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary

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Benjamin F. Shearer, Barbara Smith Shearer
Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 479 pages

"Notable Women in the Physical Sciences" features substantive biographical essays on 96 world and American women scientists who have made significant contributions to the physical sciences from antiquity to the present. The essays go beyond the basic facts found in standard biographical dictionaries, bringing to life the women's developmental influences, the obstacles they faced and overcame, and their efforts to contribute to their chosen professions in spite of sometimes overwhelming disapproval by the establishment. The emphasis is on 20th-century women, and many of the living scientists profiled contributed interviews and autobiographical statements that add a vital and unique element to their profiles. Entries have been written by 70 practicing scientists and researchers who explain the scientific work clearly, in terms familiar to general readers and high school students.

Each entry provides a fact box outlining major life events, including educational and career milestones, and concludes with sources for further reading. Forty-seven photographs complement the text. Disciplines covered include astronomy, astrophysics, bacteriology, biochemistry, biophysics, cancer research, chemistry, nuclear physics, and physics. Subjects were selected on the basis of historical importance and recognition by awards such as the Garvan Medal, Annie J. Cannon Prize, Nobel Prize, MacArthur Foundation Genius award, and the National Medal of Science. Seen across time and discipline, these dedicated scientists will inspire young women pursuing careers in science.

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Allie Vibert Douglas
Gertrude Belle Elion
Mary Fieser

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About the author (1997)

BENJAMIN F. SHEARER is Vice-President for Student Life at Neumann College in Aston, Pennsylvania.BARBARA S. SHEARER is Director of Public Services and External Relations at the Scott Memorial Library, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

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