An interview with Anna Reser and Leila McNeill
On Disobedient Femmes I spoke with Anna Reser and Leila McNeill, authors of Forces of Nature: The Women: The Women Who Changed Science.
In this interview, Anna and Leila discuss:
The reasons why so few women scientists have been included in the history of science
Some of the fascinating women scientists whose work is featured in Forces of Nature
The institutional barriers that often barred women from the spaces where scientific discoveries and innovation were recorded
The difference that women’s perspectives and experiences make in how science is practiced and understood.
Here are some highlights:
“Anything that we did learn about women in the history of science was largely done on our own. The more that we looked, the more women that we found.”
“The history of science is so much richer than the works of individuals, even individual women.”
“We wanted to shine a light on women that you might not have heard about, where there’s far fewer resources to find out about them.”
“We found women doing science in the home, integrating innovation into their everyday lives. We also find women who were publishing scientific works, especially in the 19th century, but weren’t publishing in scientific journals, they were publishing in the public sphere. “
“Inside science itself, we see explicit ways that science is defined in order to exclude certain people. Women who were programming the very first computers, their work was seen as something more like needle work than scientific work. They were doing the grunt work — calculations and solving equations — stuff that men needed someone else to do so that they could do the high minded thinking”
“More women in so called ‘soft ‘sciences than there are in hard sciences.”
“We still have these kind of fragmented disciplinary divisions that are based on gender, and these kinds of leftover Victorian ideas that are still just kind of bubbling under the surface”
Listen to the full interview here: