Can two scientists work and live together? Marie and Pierre Curie proved that it was indeed possible to have a happy marriage and do brilliant research together. This collection of seventeen original essays explores the interplay between marriage and scientific work in the lives of two dozen couples in the nineteenth and twentieth century. It is the first book to discuss the professional and personal lives of scientific couples.
For much of this period, marriage was the only acceptable way a woman could gain access to the tools, space, and colleagues indispensable to doing science. Yet, collaboration with her husband could also mean the denial of full credit for her work, inability to move to better jobs, and the juggling of domestic and scientific responsibilities. For the husband, collaboration with his skilled, unpaid wife could bring greater achievements than he might have achieved alone, but also meant the suspicion of his professional peers and the necessity of supporting the household.
The creative couples described in this volume range from Nobel Prize winners and world-renowned social scientists to obscure field biologists. The essays describe marriages and scientific collaborations that were a joy to both partners, as well as those that proved disastrous. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Marianne Gosztonyi Ainley, Barbara J. Becker, Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Mildred Cohn, Janet Bell Garber, Christiane Groeben, Joy Harvey, Susan Hoecker-Drysdale, Pamela M. Henson, Maureen J. Julian, Sylvia W. McGrath, Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie, John Stachel, Linda Tucker, and Sylvia Wiegand. They provide unique insights into the nature of cross-gender collaboration and intimacy.
This volume will be of enormous interest to contemporary scientists, to historians of science, and to anyone interested in the ways women and men share marriage and work.