Why are the fields of science and technology still considered to be predominantly male professions? Julie Des Jardins, gender historian and author of “The Madame Curie Complex: the Hidden History of Women in Science,” will provide historical context to this question in a lecture at West Virginia University on Friday (April 23).
Sponsored by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Des Jardins lecture will take place in Room G-102 of the Engineering Sciences Building at 1 p.m.
In the book, which explores the lives of Jane Goodall, Rosalind Franklin, Rosalyn Yalow, Barbara McClintock, Rachel Carson and the women of the Manhattan Project, Des Jardins considers women scientists’ personal and professional stories in relation to their male counterparts—Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi—to demonstrate how the gendered culture of science molds the methods, structure and experience of the work.
“Women scientists have often asked different questions, used different methods, come up with different explanations for phenomena in the natural world and thereby forever transformed a scientist’s role,” said Des Jardins.
Julie Des Jardins teaches American history at Baruch College of the City University of New York and writes on gender and American women. Previously, she was a lecturer at Harvard University, where she was awarded the Alan Heimert Prize for Seminar Teaching. Des Jardins has a Ph.D. in American history from Brown University and has taught the history of gender, race and feminism since 2000.
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