By Marelene F. Rayner-Canham, Geoffrey W. Rayner-Canham
This paintings contains biographical essays on 23 ladies who labored in atomic technology in the course of the first 20 years of the twentieth century, together with Marie Curie, Lise Meitner, Irene Joliot-Curie, and a bunch of lesser-known ladies scientists whose lifestyles tales have by no means ahead of been instructed. The biographies spotlight the lives and paintings of those ladies, noting their contributions and the demanding situations they confronted and overcame. Taken jointly the essays checklist their collective studies, highlighting the help community that constructed between them and the explanations ladies have been extra main during this box within the early a part of this century than in different sciences. via convalescing and recording person and collective histories of the various eminent ladies in radioactivity whose paintings had an immense impression at the medical discoveries of the final century, a extra whole, gender-integrated view of the historical past of this attention-grabbing box emerges.
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Additional resources for A Devotion to Their Science: Pioneer Women of Radioactivity
With the burst of optimism at the start of the twentieth century, science was looked upon as the great saviour of humanity. 43 To admit that radiation had a darker side as a cause of illness and death was unacceptable. All of the researchers seemed to have held this rosy view but none as firmly as Marie Curie. 45 In part, this was because both she and Irene had handled radioactive materials continually during their careers and had suffered only "minor" problems. Curie recommended plenty of exercise in the fresh air as her personal panacea for radiation-induced illness.
In his reply Sklarek noted that it was "Frau" Meitner. 51 Whereas the Braggs had almost single-handedly founded the science of crystallography and Hopkins, together with Mendel in the United States,52 had opened the doors to women in biochemistry, radioactivity had a number of early pioneers. J. Thomson, Frederick Soddy, Kasimir Fajans, and Otto Honigschmidt, took on women students. The role of the supervisor, we believe, was very important to the early women involved in the study of radioactivity.
Thomson had four women students as researchers during the period of our study: Harriet Brooks, Fanny Cook Gates, Elizabeth Laird, and Jesse Mabel Wilkins Slater. 73 Thomson's correspondence suggests that he had a tolerant if patronizing attitude towards women in physics. F. "74 Of all the senior researchers in early radioactivity, only Bertram Boltwood was openly hostile to women. Boltwood clearly believed that women scientists were little more than potential marriage partners. "75 Mary Rutherford, who had a very traditional view of women's roles, replied: "Are you engaged to the charmer yet, I forget who she was ...
A Devotion to Their Science: Pioneer Women of Radioactivity by Marelene F. Rayner-Canham, Geoffrey W. Rayner-Canham