The Women of the Moon: Tales of Science, Love, Sorrow, and Courage

Daniel R. Altschuler and Fernando J. Ballesteros. Oxford Univ., $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-1988-4441-9
Revealing that 1558 craters on the moon have been named for men, but only 28 for women, this valuable survey offers an illuminating perspective on the latter. Physicist Altschuler and astronomer Ballesteros share short, chronologically arranged, biographies of these women, beginning with Hypatia, a mathematician and astronomer born circa 355 C.E. Comet-hunter Caroline Herschel, born in 1750, was eclipsed by her brother William, discoverer of Uranus, yet for her own part discovered more comets than any other women until 1980. Other groundbreaking women active in the 19th century include Maria Mitchell, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ first female member, and Harvard “computer” and pioneering astronomer Williamina Fleming. Chapters on astronomer Priscilla Fairfield Bok, nuclear physicist Lise Meitner, and mathematician Amalie Emmy Noether, all 20th-century figures, reveal brilliant women threatened by political as well as gender-based barriers. The biographies of four NASA crew members killed in space shuttle disasters—Challenger’s Judy Resnik and Christa McAuliffe and Columbia’s Kalpana Chawla and Laurel Clark—and of cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (the book’s only still-living subject), close out the collection. The cumulative result of these neat but telling histories is a memorable introduction to 28 strong, smart, and too often forgotten female pioneers of science and exploration. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/03/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-19-258279-9
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-19-258278-2
Digital Format - 978-0-19-187995-1
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