WGS.S10 | Fall 2017 | Undergraduate

History of Women in Science and Engineering


1 The Matilda Effect

Rossiter, Margaret W. “The Matthew Matilda Effect in Science.” Social Studies of Science 23, no. 2 (1993): 325–341. 

Gage, Matilda Joslyn. “Woman as an Inventor.” The North American Review 136, no. 318. (1883): 478–489. 

 Schiebinger, Londa. The Mind Has No Sex?: Women in the Origins of Modern Science. Harvard University Press, 1991. ISBN: 9780674576254.

2 Intersectionalities

Malcolm, Shirley Mahaley, Paula Quick Hall, and Janet Welsh Brown. “The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science (PDF).” Report of a Conference of Minority Women Scientists. American Association for the Advancement of Science. AAS Report No. 76-R-3, April 1976. 

Haynes, Douglas. “Always the Exception: Women and Women of Color Scientists in Historical Perspective.” Peer Review 16 no. 2 (2014).

Hammonds, Evelynn, and Banu Subramaniam. “A Conversation on Feminist Science Studies.” Signs 28, no. 3 (2003): 923-944. 

 Bowen, Dierdre M. “Visibly Invisible: The Burden of Race and Gender for Female Students of Color Striving for an Academic Career in the Sciences.” In Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. Edited by Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs et al. Utah State University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780874219227.

 Moffitt, Kimberly R. et al. “Present and Unequal: A Third-Wave Approach to Voice Parallel Experiences in Managing Oppression and Bias in the Academy.” In Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. Edited by Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs et al. Utah State University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780874219227.

Wu, Lilian and Wei Jing. “Real Numbers: Asian Women in STEM Careers: A Visible Minority in a Double Bind.” Issues in Science and Technology 28. No 1 (2011). 

Oral history videos & transcripts: Yvonne Clark and Irene Sharp. Society of Women Engineers. 2016. 

Granville, Evelyn Boyd. “My Life as a Mathematician.” 1989. 

Brown, Jeannette E. “African American Women Chemists.” (2012)

3 Pioneers & Laurels

Film: Myronuk, Jen. Humanity Needs Dreamers: A Visit with Marie Curie. 2017. 

Film: LeRoy, Mervyn. Madame Curie. MGM. 1943. 

Valiunas, Algis. “The Marvelous Marie Curie.” The New Atlantis. Fall 2012. 

McGrayne, Sharon. Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles and Momentous Discoveries. Joseph Henry Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780309072700. 

 Weinstock, Maia. “Chien-Shiung Wu, Courageous Hero of Physics.” A Passion for Science: Stories of Discovery and Invention. Edited by Suw Charman-Anderson. Finding Ada, 2015. ASIN: B01938WNF4

4 Sun Sisters: Field trip to the Harvard Observatory

Rossiter, Margaret. “Women’s Work in Science 1880-1910.” Isis 71, no. 3 (1980): 381-398. 

Sobel, Dava. The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars. Penguin Books, 2017. ISBN: 9780143111344.

Video: History Channel. “Sisters of the Sun."Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Episode 8. 2014. YouTube. 

Oral history audio & transcript: Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin. American Institute of Physics. 1968.

Baron, David. “A Woman in Eclipse: Maria Mitchell and the Great Solar Expedition of 1878.” Undark. August 17, 2017. 

5 Engineeresses

Layne, Margaret. Women in Engineering: Pioneers and Trailblazers. American Societey of Civil Engineers, 2009. ISBN: 9780784410158.

Oldenziel, Ruth. Making Technology Masculine: Men, Women, and Modern Machines in America 1870-1945. Amsterdam University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9789053563816.

Video: UON FEBE. “What is Engineering?” YouTube. February 10. 2013. 

Video: Crash Course Kids. “What’s an Engineer?”“YouTube. May 26, 2015. 

6 Women of NASA and the Manhattan Project

Howes, Ruth, and Caroline Herzenberg. Their Day in the Sun: Women of the Manhattan Project. Temple University Press, 2003. ISBN: 9781592131921. 

Shetterly, Margot Lee. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2016. ISBN: 9780062363602.

Film: Melfi, Theodore. Hidden Figures. Fox. 2016. 

Oral history transcript: Annie Easley. NASA. (2001)

McMillan, Robert. “Her Code Got Humans to the Moon—And Invented Software Itself.” Wired, October 13, 2015. 

Nolen, Stephanie. Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race. Basic Books, 2004. ISBN: 9781568583198.

Robbins, Dean, and Lucy Knisley. Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2017.

Film: PBS. “Makers: Women in Space.” 2014.

Video: Makers. “Katherine Johnson.” 2015.

Video: Makers. “Cady Coleman.” 2015.

7 Midterm Presentation No readings
8 Women in Computing

Padua, Sydney. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage. Pantheon, 2015. IBSN: 9780307908278.

Toole, Betty Alexandra. Ada: The Enchantress of Numbers. Strawberry Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780912647180.

Buy at MIT Press Abbate, Janet. Recoding Gender: Women’s Changing Participation in Computing. The MIT Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780262018067.

Film: FiveThirtyEight. Queen of Code. 2015.

Henn, Steve. “When Women Stopped Coding.” Planet Money. NPR. October 21, 2014. 

Jeong, Sarah and Rachel Becker. “Science Doesn’t Explain Tech’s Diversity Problem — History Does.” The Verge. August, 16, 2017. 

Buy at MIT Press Cohoon, Joanne and William Aspray. Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation. The MIT Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780262533072.

Film: Weinstock, Maia. “Hear Me Now: The Remarkable Life of Cathy Wolf, Human-Computer Interaction Pioneer.” January 25, 2018. YouTube. 

9 STEM Women in Media and Consumer Products

Aschwanden, Christie. “The Finkbeiner Test.” Double X Science. March 5, 2013. 

Sullivan, Margaret. “Gender Questions Arise in Obituary of Rocket Scientist and Her Beef Stroganoff.” The New York Times. April 1, 2013.

Smith, Stacy et al. “Gender Roles and Occupations: A Look at Character Attributes and Character-Related Aspirations in Film and Television” (PDF - 1.3MB). Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media. 2012.

Ottaviani, Jim, and Maris Wicks. Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. First Second, 2013. ISBN: 9781596438651. 

Ottaviani, Jim, and Leland Myrick. Feynman. First Second, 2013. ISBN: 9781596438279.

Beaty, Andrea, and David Roberts. Ada Twist, Scientist. Harry N. Abrams, 2016. ISBN: 9781419721373. 

Fine, Cordelia. Chapters 18-21. Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference. W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. ISBN: 9780393340242. 

Weinstock, Maia. “My Dear Lego, You Are Part of the Problem.” Annals of Spacetime. February 20, 2012. 

Videos: Feminist Frequency. Lego and Gender. 2012. 

Weinstock, Maia. “Breaking Brick Stereotypes: Lego Unveils a Female Scientist.” Scientific American. September 2, 2013. 

— — —. “It’s Time for More Racial Diversity in STEM Toys.” Scientific American. February 23, 2015. 

— — —. “LEGO Adds More Women in STEM to Its Lineup.” Scientific American. June 24, 2015. 

10 STEM Women in Wikipedia/Edit-a-thon

Boboltz, Sara. “Editors are Trying to Fix Wikipedia’s Gender and Racial Bias Problems.” Huffington Post. April 15, 2015. 

Gardner, Sue. “Nine Reasons Women Don’t Edit Wikipedia (In Their Own Words).” Sue Gardner’s blog. February 19, 2011. 

Smith, Michelle R. “Women Scientists, Wikipedia Under Microscope in RI.” Omaha World-Herald. October 16, 2013. 

Bear, Julia, and Benjamin Collier. “Where Are the Women in Wikipedia? Understanding the Different Psychological Experiences of Men and Women in Wikipedia.” Sex Roles 74, no. 5–6 (2016): 254–265. 

Temple-Wood, Emily. “The Blogger and the Trolls.” Scientific American. September 2017. 

Wikipedia. WikiProject Women Scientists

Wikipedia. Women in Red.


Mens et Manus

Guest Speaker Debbie Douglas

Field trip to the MIT Museum

Moore Trescott, Martha. “Women in the Intellectual Development of Engineering.” In Women in Engineering: Pioneers and Trailblazers. Edited by Margaret E. Layne. American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009. ISBN: 9780784410158.

Podcast: McGonegal, Joe.  “New Bio Chronicles MIT’s First Alumna.” Slice of MIT. December 3, 2014. 

Brittain, James. “From Computer to Electrical Engineer: The Remarkable Career of Edith Clarke.” In Women in Engineering: Pioneers and Trailblazers. American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009. ISBN: 9780784410158.

Web exhibit: Celebrating 125 Years of Women at MIT. 1998.

Videos: “MIT 150 Leaders in Science and Engineering Symposium:The Women of MIT. “2011.

Kleiman, Miriam. “Rich, Famous, and Questionably Sane.” Prologue Magazine 39 no. 2 (2007). 

Anderson, Mark. “Mildred Dresselhaus: Queen of Carbon.” IEEE Spectrum. April 28, 2015. 2015)

Video: Infinite History Project. “Sheila Widnall.” MIT. 2010.

Video: Science History Institute. “Women in Chemistry: Paula Hammond.” YouTube. September 10, 2012. 

Video: Makers. Lydia Villa-Komaroff. 2012. 


Then and Now

Guest Speaker Prof. Sheila Widnall

Gornick, Vivian. Women in Science: Then and Now. The Feminist Press, 2009. ISBN: 9781558615878. 

MIT. “Report on the Status of Women in Science and Engineering at MIT.“1999. 

MIT. “Report on the Status of Women Faculty in the Schools of Science and Engineering at MIT.” (PDF - 1.6MB). 2011. 

Summers, Lawrence. “Remarks at NBER Conference on Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce.” January 14, 2005. 

Humphries, Courtney. “Measuring Up.” MIT Technology Review. August 16, 2017. 

Hill, Catherine. “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” AAUW. 

NSBE, SWE, and WEPAN. “Ignored Potential: A Collaborative Roadmap for Increasing African-American Women in Engineering.” (PDF - 3.6MB). 2017.

de las Mercedez, Carmen. “Patterns of Persistence of Latinas in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degree Programs.” The University of Texas at Austin. Dissertation. 2015.

Seron, Carroll et al. “Persistence is Cultural: Professional Socialization and the Reproduction of Sex Segregation.” Work and Occupations 43 no. 2 (2016): 178-214.

Gage, Suzi. “Why Ada Lovelace Day Matters.” The Guardian. October 13, 2015. 

13 Class Presentations No readings

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