The Unforgotten Sisters: Female Astronomers and Scientists before Caroline Herschel

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Springer, Mar 14, 2016 - Science - 179 pages

Taking inspiration from Siv Cedering’s poem in the form of a fictional letter from Caroline Herschel that refers to “my long, lost sisters, forgotten in the books that record our science”, this book tells the lives of twenty-five female scientists, with specific attention to astronomers and mathematicians. Each of the presented biographies is organized as a kind of "personal file" which sets the biographee’s life in its historical context, documents her main works, highlights some curious facts, and records citations about her. The selected figures are among the most representative of this neglected world, including such luminaries as Hypatia of Alexandra, Hildegard of Bingen, Elisabetha Hevelius, and Maria Gaetana Agnesi. They span a period of about 4000 years, from En HeduAnna, the Akkadian princess, who was one of the first recognized female astronomers, to the dawn of the era of modern astronomy with Caroline Herschel and Mary Somerville. The book will be of interest to all who wish to learn more about the women from antiquity to the nineteenth century who played such key roles in the history of astronomy and science despite living and working in largely male-dominated worlds.


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About the author (2016)

Gabriella Bernardi holds a degree in Physics and a Master's degree in Popular Science. After having worked at Alenia Spazio in Turin (Rosetta mission), she decided to devote all of her time to science, and especially astronomy. She is currently a freelance journalist for magazines and periodicals and was also involved in the Planetarium and Museum of Astronomy and Space in Pino Torinese. Recently she won an Italian award for popular science journalism. Gabrielle is the author of three books of popularisation of astronomy for children and young people.

Honours, awards, and membership of any scientific societies:

• Philips award for young researchers 1999
• International award “Città Tocco da Casauria”, 3th place for scientific essays, 2002
• Award on scientific journalism 2007
• Ordine dei giornalisti del Piemonte
• UGIS, Unione dei Giornalisti Scientifici Italiani
• EUSJA, European Union of Scientific Journalists’ Association

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