I took a poll of friends on Facebook. “Who is the first scientist that pops in your head besides Einstein?” There were a variety of men named; but only two women. Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin. My friend, Liz, who graduated from MIT response was Rosalind Franklin. (Liz’s daughter’s name is Rosalind.) I hadn’t heard of Rosalind Franklin. Luckily, she was included in the book Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky.
I’m appalled; but not surprised by what I learned. “We should all know it was Rosalind Franklin who discovered the double helix structure of DNA, not James Watson and Francis Crick.” For too long female scientists’ contributions have been overlooked. Thankfully, publishers are taking notice. A variety of beautifully illustrated biographies about female scientists have been published in the past few years.
I INSIST YOU SHARE THESE WITH YOUR CHILDREN AND YOURSELF. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED.
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu
Caroline’s Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully
Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed and illustrated by Stasia Burrington
Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Jessica Lanan
Ada Lovelace: Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer by Diane Stanley and illustrated by Jessie Hartland
Marie Curie by Demi