Download The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in by Julie Des Jardins PDF

By Julie Des Jardins

Why are the fields of technological know-how and expertise nonetheless thought of to be predominantly male professions? The Madame Curie Complex strikes past the commonest explanations—limited entry to specialist education, loss of assets, exclusion from social networks of men—to provide historic context and unforeseen revelations approximately women's contributions to the sciences.

Exploring the lives of Jane Goodall, Rosalind Franklin, Rosalyn Yalow, Barbara McClintock, Rachel Carson, and the ladies of the big apple undertaking, Julie Des Jardins considers their own tales on the subject of their male counterparts—Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi—to reveal how the gendered tradition of technological know-how molds the tools, constitution, and adventure of the paintings. With vigorous anecdotes and bright element, The Madame Curie Complex finds how girls scientists have frequently requested various questions, used assorted tools, get a hold of various factors for phenomena within the flora and fauna, and the way they've got without end remodeled a scientist's role.

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At the request of Henry Ford she grudgingly traveled to Dearborn, Michigan, to attend a dinner in honor of Thomas Edison on the golden anniversary of his invention of the incandescent bulb. En route to the Midwest she complained bitterly of the cold. S. tour was hardly about them at all. Aside from an event hosted by the New York Federation of Women’s Clubs honoring her as a humanitarian, Curie’s appearances served to reinstate masculine science. At Edison’s Golden Jubilee one prominent male inventor paid homage to another, and at General Electric the inventor of the X-ray tube served as her guide through laboratories occupied exclusively by men.

People wondered if she’d react with displays of emotion and odes to Pierre. Instead she proceeded in a steady monotone: “When we consider the progress made by the theories of radioactivity since the beginning of the Nineteenth Century . ” Students were amazed; she had picked up on Pierre’s last explication of polonium almost to the sentence. Even in the wake of Pierre’s death, she refused to give colleagues reason to think her anything but the consummate professional. 29 But when the period of mourning was over, reaction to her university appointment changed; invariably colleagues and the press began to look critically at the widow propelled by her husband’s death.

She should have been heralded as a saint, and yet the price of her altruism was a debilitating lack of funds, not for her own creature comforts but for humanity, who continued to suffer without her life-saving research. “I had been prepared to meet a woman of the world, enriched by her own efforts and established in one of the white palaces of the Champs d’Elysées or some other beautiful boulevard of Paris,” Meloney wrote. ”7 The synopsis seemed extreme to Curie, who insisted that French scientists worked under modest conditions all the time, but Meloney wouldn’t hear it.

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