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Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World Hardcover – July 26, 2016
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"Years ago, I saw a photograph of a young boy in a collection of images from Life magazine. He sits on a stoop with his head thrown back, ecstatically hugging a new pair of shoes. I can imagine a young girl feeling that way about this book. Even before you start to read, the spell is cast. The illustrations are gorgeous, irresistible whimsy. The cover lettering shines silver against a caressable black matte surface. And then you start reading. Here are women who dared, who pioneered, who took risks and changed the world. Here is Jane Goodall as a young girl, scaring the family's chickens by "trying to observe how they laid eggs." Here is Alice Ball, discovering a cure for leprosy. Here's microbiologist Esther Lederberg, so broke she cooked up the leftover frog legs from the dissection lab. Here's Rosalind Franklin, documenting DNA's distinctive double helix (only to have her work pirated by Watson and Crick). Here are physicists, astronauts, mathematicians. Vulcanologist and entomologists. Inventors and Nobel laureates. Here is inspiration. I can't wait to wrap this book up and give it to my granddaughter Gus the moment she's old enough."
– Mary Roach, author of Gulp, for Google Play's "Our Favorite Authors’ Favorite Books of 2016"
"This charming encyclopedia includes a page of text and a fanciful drawing of the women scientists you’ve heard of — and plenty who you haven’t! The book has good coverage of the 1800s and early 1900s — a critical time when women’s expanding participation in science was changing the very structure of how knowledge is pursued. Interspersed with gems like a colorful timeline of women’s achievements, and a cartoon celebrating a wonderful hoard of lab supplies, Ignotofsky’s profiles of diverse female scientists is a great addition to the shelf of any student, of any age."
– Hope Jahren, author of Lab Girl, for The Fader
"In this wittily illustrated, accessible volume, Rachel Ignotofsky highlights 50 women who changed the course of science."
– Wall Street Journal
"With the help of eye-catching artwork, Ignotofsky celebrates not just astronauts, but also the engineers, biologists, mathematicians, and physicists who’ve blazed a trail for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields from the ancient to modern world. The book elevates this information with beautiful and instructive infographics that delve into topics like the number of women currently working in STEM fields."
– Entertainment Weekly (online)
"With short, inspiring stories and the accessibility of a graphic novel. . .the perfect book to share with the science- and tech-minded people (male and female, young and old) in your life. . . .The must-read, girl-power STEM book."
"This book of illustrated biographies of scientific pioneers is hands-down gorgeous. . . .Kids will love paging through this, looking at all the detailed drawings, but they'll likely have to rip it out of the hands of the adults who are marveling at each new page of factoids."
– Sarah Mirk, Bitch Media
"The book is a beautifully curated collection of personal narratives from female scientists from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines, with a dash of whimsy thrown in."
"I applaud Ignotofsky and her publisher for telling these important stories about women through such a rich, visual medium. The world needs more books like this."
– ScientificAmerican.com's Symbiartic
". . .an illustrated homage to some of the most influential and inspiring women in STEM. . . .Ignotofsky captures the heartbreaking inequalities that only amplify the impressiveness of these women’s feats."
– Maria Popova, BrainPickings.org
". . .a clever introduction to women scientists through history."
– Science Friday
"True fact: This book is so cool that I had to go steal it back from my fifth grade daughter to review it. . . .this book perfectly balances well-researched facts with gorgeous, whimsical illustrations making it a favorite you just can’t put down."
– Cool Mom Picks
Advance praise for Women in Science:
“If there were constellations celebrating the incredible accomplishments of women in science, Rachel Ignotofsky's illustrations would serve as the blueprints. As Ignotofsky floats NASA computer programmer and mathematician Annie Easley amid rockets and stars, surrounds Higgs boson discoverer Sau Lan Wu with particles, and cradles Barbara McClintock with corn and chromosomes, she anchors her dreamy depictions into our brains. Women in Science captures the joy of so many essential discoveries while also celebrating the extraordinary lives of the women who've achieved them.”
– Rachel Swaby, author of Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science—and the World
“I wish I had a daughter so I could give her a copy of Rachel Ignotofsky's lovingly illustrated Women in Science. In addition to Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, and Ada Lovelace, the book profiles dozens of less familiar female scientists—African American, Asian, Jewish, Russian, French, in stylish dresses, lab coats, trousers, spacesuits, shorts—whose accomplishments in astronomy, physics, mathematics, biology, psychology, and computer science came as news even to me. Ignotofsky provides young women with the courage and confidence to follow the exciting paths these pioneers have blazed before them.”
– Eileen Pollack, author of The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys' Club
“Women in Science is a comprehensive and stunningly illustrated tribute to brilliant female minds. Through real stories of perseverance and passion, Rachel Ignotofsky affirms the important role of women in shaping humankind's scientific journey. The book offers the next generation of young women a diverse set of relatable and enormously inspiring role models.”
– Lisa Congdon, illustrator and author
“In Rachel Ignotofsky’s edifying and inspiring book we meet some of history’s most remarkable women. Each profile contains extraordinary stories of obstacles and achievements. The drawings float on the pages’ dark backgrounds, making each figure appear to hover in the sky like a constellation. That’s what the reader is doing in this book: stargazing.”
– Lauren Redniss, author of Radioactive and Thunder & Lightning
“Paired with her delightfully whimsical drawings, the concise and accessible profiles of women scientists in Rachel Ignotofsky’s book reveal the setbacks faced by women in male-dominated scientific careers and show how these women cared deeply about making the world—and the world of science—a more equal place. With its enthusiastic tone and its colorful layout, this inviting introduction to women in science urges its readers to take advantage of their education and to participate in scientific discoveries of their own.”
– Rory Dicker, author of A History of U.S. Feminisms
About the Author
Rachel Ignotofsky grew up in New Jersey on a healthy diet of cartoons and pudding. She graduated with honors from Tyler School of Art’s graphic design program in 2011. Now she lives in beautiful Kansas City, Missouri, where she spends all day drawing and learning as much as she can. She has a passion for taking dense information and making it fun and accessible and is dedicated to creating educational works of art.
Rachel is inspired by history and science and believes that illustration is a powerful tool that can make learning exciting. She uses her work to spread her message about education, scientific literacy, and powerful women. She hopes this book inspires girls and women to follow their passions and dreams.
This is Rachel’s first book and she plans on writing many more in the future. To see more of Rachel’s educational art and learn more about her, please visit www.rachelignotofskydesign.com.
Top customer reviews
Rachel Ignostofsky’s joy in the accomplishments is contagious in her well chosen words and vibrant illustrations of Hypatia, Maria Merian, Mary Anning, Marie Curie, Barbara McClintock, Katherine Johnson, and other mathematicians, geologists, chemists, and more. Each section ends with an allusion to the scientist’s place within history. Illustrated lab equipment and a glossary, as well as recent statistics on women in STEM fields, rounds out the book, with an afterword urging girls to keep changing the world.