Cover image for A to Z of women in science and math
A to Z of women in science and math
Yount, Lisa.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvii, 254 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Q141 .Y675 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This reference profiles women who have overcome typecasting and discrimination to contribute greatly to the scientific and mathematical world. The book features biographical information about more than 150 women from all historical ages, many countries, and many scientific fields.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

From Maria Gaetana Agnesi to Zhou Yufen, from Hypatia to Mae Carol Jemison, this encyclopedia of 147 women in the sciences covers a wide range. Although treating primarily European and American women, Yount has tried to meet the demand from schools for more multicultural resources by including nonwestern scientists of note like Aba A. Bentil Andam, of Ghana; R. Rajalakshmi, of India; and others. Though they provide both professional and personal information, the essays are geared for middle-and high-school students, and the discussion of the professional work is not as technical as in Dictionary of Scientific Biography (Scribner, 1981), where formulas and equations are sometimes included. The entries range in length from a column for Agnodice, the ancient Greek physician, to more than two pages for chemist Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin. The variance seems dependent on achievement and information available. Some entries have illustrations. The volume closes with a bibliography; a chronology; and indexes by field, place of birth, place of greatest scientific activity, and date of birth, as well as a general index. Each entry ends with a list of further readings, a number of which will be held at medium-sized and large public libraries. Titles include Current Biography, Hypatia's Heritage (Beacon Press, 1986), Nobel Prize Women in Science (Birch Lane Press, 1993), Notable American Women (Harvard, 1971^-1980), and Women in Science (MIT, 1986), among others. For libraries with tight budgets, this may play into the purchase decision. But for school and public libraries needing additional biographical information on women in the sciences, this volume is a nice young-adult tool with a reasonable price tag.

Library Journal Review

This is the second entry in the Facts on File "Encyclopedia of Women" series, joining A to Z of Native American Women (LJ 8/98). Like the first volume, it profiles over 150 women, in this case women who have made contributions in a wide range of fieldsÄmedicine, genetics, ecology, archaeology, astronomy, botany, mathematics, physics, computer science, zoology, chemistry, and related scientific fields. The selections cover women from antiquity to the present, ranging from fourth-century Greek physician Agnodice to astronaut/physician Mae Carol Jemison. Essays on each woman are generally 300 to 1000 words, recounting essential biographical information: education, career, contributions to the field, and, perhaps most interestingly, obstacles they faced in male-dominated careers. Most essays include a photograph, and all include suggestions for further reading. The biographical sketches are arranged alphabetically, and the volume concludes with indexes by field of endeavor, country of birth, country of major scientific activity, and year of birth. This very readable collection of essays and sketches is a useful quick reference point to begin research on one of these women scientists. It will be a good companion to American Women in Science (LJ 2/15/99) and Greenwood's Notable Women in Mathematics (LJ 7/98). Known mainly for her juvenile books, Yount has authored several other Facts on File titles, including Black Scientists (1991), Contemporary Women Scientists (1994), and Twentieth-Century Women Scientists (1995). Recommended for general audiences.ÄKathy Breeden, Lupton Lib., Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-Yount provides excellent biographical material on 150 women who have contributed to these fields. With an informative but not overly scholarly writing style, this is a top-notch choice for high school libraries. The author hopes to motivate young women to pursue these careers even though there will be prejudices to overcome. Although most of the women are scientists, the inclusion of some mathematicians may help bridge a gap in collections. The charts increase the reference value, as the women are arranged by field, nationality and country of work, year of birth, and a chronology. Yount includes fewer women than Martha J. Bailey's American Women in Science (ABC-CLIO, 1994), but the articles are longer.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Yount's biographical dictionary profiles 150 women whose research has made direct contributions to science. Both present-day scientists and those from earlier periods from all countries are included. Entries are brief (one to two pages in length), are arranged alphabetically, and include bibliographies. The biographical sketches provide family background, education, personal obstacles overcome, and details about scientific work. Numerous indexes list the women by time period, field of study, country of birth, and country of scientific activity. Fifty black-and-white photographs complement the text. Fields covered range from astronomy and mathematics to physics and zoology. Readers will find new names here along with the familiar--Greek philosopher Hypatia, Marie Curie, Margaret Mead, Italian physicist Laura Bassi, astronomer Williamina Fleming, and biochemist Zhao Yufen. A good general resource. M. J. Finnegan; Corvallis-Benton County Public Library



From ancient times to the present, scientifically inclined women in most cultures have had to battle against the notion that any man is more adept at endeavors of the mind than any woman, no matter how brilliant or innovative her ideas may be. A to Z of Women in Science and Math profiles women who have overcome typecasting and discrimination to contribute greatly to the scientific world. Features include: Basic biographical information about more than 150 women from all historical ages, from many countries, and who have worked in a wide range of scientific and mathematical fields--from astronomy to zoology. Full coverage, including the obstacles some of these women overcame to become leaders in their fields; their discoveries of new information and ideas; and their important contributions. A bibliography of sources for each woman featured that will inspire further reading and study. A to Z of Women in Science and Math also provides a general bibliography; a visual chronology that shows when the women lived relative to each other; subject indexes that list women by area of achievement, country of birth, country of work, and period of birth; and a comprehensive index that allows full access to all the material in the book. Profiles include: Agnodice: Greek physician Elizabeth Blackwell: British/American physician Gerty Cori: American biochemist Marie Curie: French physicist and chemist Diane Fossey: American zoologist Rosalind Franklin: British chemist Hildegarde of Bingen: German botanist and physician Mae Jemison: American physician Margaret Mead: American anthropologist Lise Meitner: German/Swedish physicist Tomoko Ohta: Japanese geneticist. Excerpted from A to Z of Women in Science and Math by Lisa Yount All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.