Catalogue


Has feminism changed science? /
Londa Schiebinger.
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1999.
description
x, 252 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0674381130 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1999.
isbn
0674381130 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
2720262
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [235]-245) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-11:
The question posed by Schiebinger--one that many historians of science, women studies' students and scholars, and feminists have pondered, addressed, and written about--has never been so comprehensively treated, nor with such a command of the literature in medicine, primatology, archaeology, biology, physics, and mathematics. Scheibinger provides an excellent summary of the history of women in science, the role that gender has played in the actual theory and practice of science, and the ways in which the content of science has been modified by the presence of an increasing number of women who now are, in varying degrees, present in all of these sciences. Because the book is an overview, the treatment of all of these topics is necessarily sketchy: this is particularly pronounced in the historical chapters, where ten centuries (or more) are covered in ten pages. It is useful as an overview and as an introduction to the field, but as an analysis of the central question of whether or not women do science differently it falls short; there is more assertion than sustained argument. Brief and incomplete index; the bibliography unfortunately only lists those books for which there is not a full citation in the text. Undergraduates. M. H. Chaplin; Wellesley College
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1999-04-26:
Over the past two decades, there has been increased attention to the number of women in historically male-dominated scientific fields. Yet even as some in academia and government strive to expand opportunities for women in science, progress has been sluggish, eliciting theories about the cause that range from the biological to the cultural. In this important assessment of the topic, Schiebinger (The Mind Has No Sex?), a professor of the history of science at Pennsylvania State University, explores the history of women in science as well as the role gender has played in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. Compelling and well researched, this history not only debunks many popular mythssuch as that women are better at soft sciencebut also provides a useful backdrop for Schiebingers next argument: that women have already changed the way that science itself is studied. Citing evidence from biology, medicine and anthropology, Schiebinger is persuasive and articulate in her argument, and honestly discusses the difficulty in accurately assessing the current situation because of the cultural, racial and social differences among the women she notes. What they do have in common, she says, are obstacles that keep them from getting tenure, raising a family painlessly and advancing as quickly as men in their chosen fields. In a hopeful and insightful finish, she suggests realistic changes for science, such as a reconsideration of sciences definitions, that would correct many imbalances and sweep away the cobwebs of sciences gender biases. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
This is by no means a specialist or polemical book: on the contrary it courts a wide readership, offering a brilliant general picture of the development of science and the current state of play, seen through the frame of a feminist vision, which is at once celebratory and critical...Schiebinger's thoroughly accessible and informative writing, like a good public service radio program, draws people into areas they didn't know could interest them, and sends them away with ideas for further reflection.
Schiebinger's questions and conclusions should interest all veterinarians, since we are currently living through a dramatic-and much debated-alteration in the gender composition of our profession. Work such as Schiebinger's, although scholarly and not specific to veterinary medicine, helps us to think about our own professional transformation...Sciebinger's 'feminism' then, is a point of view that attacks narrowness in scientific thought and practice. She says that 'after a while, change builds on change.' Let us all work towards the day when we can answer the question 'has feminism changed veterinary medicine' with a resounding 'yes.'
The answer to the question posed by the title is "Yes, but not enough." Londa Schiebinger specializes in gender issues in science, and this is a synthesis of her earlier books, ranging through history to uncover the many women whose work has been overlooked, if not stolen, by male scientists over the centuries, as well as the women who have made a difference in fields as diverse as medicine, archeology and primatology...Schiebinger also offers a number of suggestions for change.
In the past 30 years, feminists have produced major critiques of science...there have also been several modern histories of women scientists, new biographies, and numerous research studies of their recent career developments. Schiebinger's latest book is a summary to date of this body of knowledge...a very rich area of critical analysis.
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, April 1999
Globe & Mail, May 1999
Choice, November 1999
SciTech Book News, December 1999
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Do women do science differently? And how about feminists--male or female? The answer to this fraught question, carefully set out in this provocative book, will startle and enlighten every faction in the "science wars."Has Feminism Changed Science? is at once a history of women in science and a frank assessment of the role of gender in shaping scientific knowledge. Science is both a profession and a body of knowledge, and Londa Schiebinger looks at how women have fared and performed in both instances. She first considers the lives of women scientists, past and present: How many are there? What sciences do they choose--or have chosen for them? Is the professional culture of science gendered? And is there something uniquely feminine about the science women do? Schiebinger debunks the myth that women scientists--because they are women--are somehow more holistic and integrative and create more cooperative scientific communities. At the same time, she details the considerable practical difficulties that beset women in science, where domestic partnerships, children, and other demanding concerns can put women's (and increasingly men's) careers at risk.But what about the content of science, the heart of Schiebinger's subject? Have feminist perspectives brought any positive changes to scientific knowledge? Schiebinger provides a subtle and nuanced gender analysis of the physical sciences, medicine, archaeology, evolutionary biology, primatology, and developmental biology. She also shows that feminist scientists have developed new theories, asked new questions, and opened new fields in many of these areas.
Main Description
biology. She also shows that feminist scientists have developed new theories, asked new questions, and opened new fields in many of these areas.
Main Description
Do women do science differently? And how about feminists--male or female? The answer to this fraught question, carefully set out in this provocative book, will startle and enlighten every faction in the "science wars." Has Feminism Changed Science? is at once a history of women in science and a frank assessment of the role of gender in shaping scientific knowledge. Science is both a profession and a body of knowledge, and Londa Schiebinger looks at how women have fared and performed in both instances. She first considers the lives of women scientists, past and present: How many are there? What sciences do they choose--or have chosen for them? Is the professional culture of science gendered? And is there something uniquely feminine about the science women do? Schiebinger debunks the myth that women scientists--because they are women--are somehow more holistic and integrative and create more cooperative scientific communities. At the same time, she details the considerable practical difficulties that beset women in science, where domestic partnerships, children, and other demanding concerns can put women's (and increasingly men's) careers at risk. But what about the content of science, the heart of Schiebinger's subject? Have feminist perspectives brought any positive changes to scientific knowledge? Schiebinger provides a subtle and nuanced gender analysis of the physical sciences, medicine, archaeology, evolutionary biology, primatology, and developmental biology. She also shows that feminist scientists have developed new theories, asked new questions, and opened new fields in many of these areas.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Do women do science differently? This is a history of women in science and a frank assessment of the role of gender in shaping scientific knowledge. Londa Schiebinger looks at how women have fared and performed in both instances.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Women in Science
Hypatia's Heritage
Meters of Equity
The Pipeline
Gender in the Cultures of Science
The Clash of Cultures
Science and Private Life
Gender in the Substance of Science
Medicine
Primatology, Archaeology, and Human Origins
Biology
Physics and Math
Conclusion
Appendix
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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