This essay explores how and why women involved themselves in the sciences in eighteenth-century Italy. Using the case study of Diamante Medaglia Faini, a poet who attempted to become a mathematician, it argues that the image of the woman natural philosopher was shaped by the visible presence of woman in scientific institutions in the mid-eighteenth century and by the tradition of popular scientific writing, best embodied in the works of Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle and Francesco Algarotti, that made the woman natural philosopher an important literary protagonist. Becoming a scientist, in other words, was both a reality and a fiction. The tensions between these two different images shaped the terrain in which women pursued science.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed