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Athena Unbound


  • 8 tables
  • Page extent: 292 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.6 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 500/.82
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: Q130 .E85 2000
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Women in science
    • Women in technology

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521563802 | ISBN-10: 0521563801)

Why are there so few women scientists? Persisting differences between women's and men's experiences in science make this question as relevant today as it ever was. This book sets out to answer this question, and to propose solutions for the future. Based on extensive research, it emphasizes that science is an intensely social activity. Despite the scientific ethos of universalism and inclusion, scientists and their institutions are not immune to the prejudices of society as a whole. By presenting women's experiences at all key career stages - from childhood to retirement - the authors reveal the hidden barriers, subtle exclusions and unwritten rules of the scientific workplace, and the effects, both professional and personal, that these have on the female scientist. This important book should be read by all scientists - both male and female - and sociologists, as well as women thinking of embarking on a scientific career.

• Based on hundreds of interviews and supported by quantitative analysis • Contains vivid personal accounts of sacrifices made and adaptive strategies developed • Explains how career success and research discoveries depend on 'social capital' - the relationships and networks that scientists rely on for access to new ideas and professional support


Introduction: women in science: why so few?; 1. The scientific career pipeline; 2. Women and science; 3. Gender, sex and science; 4. Selective access; 5. Critical transitions in the graduate and post-graduate career path; 6. Women's (and men's) Graduate experience in science; 7. The paradox of critical mass for women in science; 8. The Kula ring of scientific success; 9. Women's faculty experience; 10. Dual male and female worlds of science; 11. Differences between women in science; 12. Social capital and faculty network relationships; 13. Negative and positive departmental cultures; 14. Initiatives for departmental change; 15. International comparisons; 16. Athena unbound: policy for women in science; Appendix; Index.


Prepublication endorsement: 'Well-meaning proponents of women in science continue to downplay - or even deny - the pervasive personal and career difficulties faced by women scientists. Pretending that these problems don't exist does nothing to improve the scientific climate for women or men. Athena Unbound gives us the research we need to acknowledge and begin to address these problems.' Mary Morse, author of Women Changing Science: Voices from a Field in Transition

' … good on social insight'. Joan Mason, Chemistry in Britain

'I found Athena Unbound so gripping that I read it in one sitting. I expect that many women scientists, and their families, will find that it articulates as a general problem issues they have encountered in their own careers.' Alison Winter, American Scientist

'… this book has much to recommend it.' Jan Leach, Chemistry & Industry

' … a timely contribution. While the book's focus is on academic science, it can claim greater breadth because of its concern with 'the quality of women's experience in academic science', including how they are educated in college and graduate school … [There's much to like in this book] … Athena Unbound is full of righteous indignation, and it makes many important points.' Chemical and Engineering News

' … the authors' quantitative analysis method is respectable.' Nature


Michael Neuschatz, Elaine Seymour, Lynn Mulkey, Joseph Alonzo

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