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Science on the Home Front: American Women Scientists in World War II Paperback – September 23, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0252076596 ISBN-10: 0252076591 Edition: 1st Edition

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Science on the Home Front: American Women Scientists in World War II + Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground (NCTE-Routledge Research Series)
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Editorial Reviews




"Jack does an excellent job of expanding notions of genre, arguing that scientific genres not only regulated gender norms and determined access to knowledge and expertise, they also decided who could speak within the academy and whose work was considered valuable."--Rhetoric & Public Affairs

Book Description

During World War II, women scientists responded to urgent calls for their participation in the war effort. Even though newspapers, magazines, books, and films forecasted tremendous growth in scientific and technical jobs for women, the war produced few long-term gains in the percentage of women in the sciences or in their overall professional standing.


In Science on the Home Front, Jordynn Jack argues that it was the very language of science--the discourses and genres of scientific communication--that helped to limit women's progress in science even as it provided opportunities for a small group of prominent female scientists to advance during the war. The book uses the experiences of individual women--from physicists Leona Marshall and Katharine Way, who worked on the Manhattan Project, to Lydia J. Roberts, who developed the Recommended Dietary Allowances--to illuminate the broader limitations of masculine scientific culture and its discourses of expertise, gender neutrality, technical expediency, and objectivity. Focusing on genres of women scientists' writing in the disciplines of psychology, anthropology, physics, and nutrition, the study identifies key characteristics of scientific culture and rhetoric that continue to limit women's advancement in science and to stifle their unique perspectives.

More About the Author

Jordynn Jack (1977- ) was born in Ontario, Canada and studied English and technical writing at Glendon College, York University, before earning her PhD in rhetoric and composition at Pennsylvania State University. Now associate professor in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, she researches and teaches courses in a range of areas: rhetoric of science, women's rhetorics, science writing, and rhetoric of health, medicine, and disability. When she is not researching, writing, or teaching, she enjoys knitting, sewing, cooking, traveling, and hiking. She lives in Cary, North Carolina with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

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