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Showing posts from September, 2015

I wish She had Spent more Time Sharing Their Stories

Eileen Pollack has heard from many women from many different backgrounds because she had an article published in the NY Times, and lots of women told her they found something in her story they could relate to. That's wonderful and true, and, like I said, I wish she had spent more time sharing their stories. But we also need to realize that this sort of study is the kind that invites corroboration but not dissent. There are other stories out there. And the tone of the last part of the book admits that. But the first 2/3 of the book contradicted this.

She mentioned in the course of her memoir that one of the difficulties in being a female science major is that male students don't get crushes on their teachers, so they don't have to deal with that additional layer of complication. Ummm. That actually offends me. If it's not clear why, then maybe I'm the weirdo. But does this mean that when I'm in front of my intro classes full of primarily male engineering student…

Angie rated it from Shelves: Firstreads, Science-Related

The last third of this book was more or less what I was hoping the whole book would be. It's an overview and dicussion of the different theories as to why there is still a lack of women in some STEM fields. The author's focus is on the upper echelons of academia -- I'm afraid that the fact that I have a tenure-track physics professorship would not interest her. She is mainly concerned about Harvard and her alma mater, Yale, and she shares the elitism of her home institution. But she has heard from many women in technical fields at all levels, and she shares some of their opinions and stories with us, which is helpful. She also summarizes the arguments from a few published books on the topic.

It was the first 2/3 of the book that disappointed me. This first part of the book is a heartfelt, honest memoir of her own path to writer-dom. She grew up liking science, majored in physics at Yale, and then decided to become a writer. Nothing at all wrong with that, and it seems that …