Cover image for Women's history as scientists : a guide to the debates
Women's history as scientists : a guide to the debates
Whaley, Leigh Ann.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 252 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
The Classical Debate: Can Women Do Science? -- The Medieval Woman in Science: contradictions within the church and the university -- The Querelle des Femmes: The Debate about Women -- The Debate about Education and the Inferiority of Women -- The Cartesian Debate -- The Professionalization of Science: the Exclusion of Women -- The Age of the Enlightenment: Science as an Unsuitable Subject for a Lady -- The "New Science" and the Debate about Women -- "Doctoring only for Men": Women and Medicine -- The Feminist Critique of Science.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Q130 .W46 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A comprehensive historical review of the debates surrounding women's contributions and roles in science, with emphasis on women's access to education, training, and professional careers.

* Each chapter features a central theme or controversy, such as the Querelle des Femmes , the professionalization of science, and the exclusion of women from medicine

* Includes a bibliography of primary and secondary sources divided into subsections based on topic, a complete subject index, and illustrations of the major female figures throughout the history of science

Author Notes

Leigh Whaley is assistant professor of history at Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Whaley (Acadia Univ., Nova Scotia) offers this book as part of the "Controversies in Science" series, and thus it is deliberately framed to place the role of women in the history of science as a series of controversies that supposedly dominated successive centuries. Thus there is an imposed artificiality to the presentation that begins with the debate over the nature of women in ancient Greece and takes up the Cartesian debate, the Enlightenment debate over the suitability of women for science, and continues through the contemporary feminist critique of science, centered in the US. Because it is an overview with a huge canvas, it tends to read like an encyclopedia article, and the treatment of prominent and complex thinkers such as Aristotle, Rousseau, and John Stuart Mill, to mention only three examples, tends to be superficial and simplistic. It might serve as a useful introduction to the history of women in science for high school students, especially since each chapter has suggestions for further reading. An index, pictures of a random group of illustrious figures, and very straightforward prose contribute to what is essentially a basic textbook on this subject. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates. M. H. Chaplin Wellesley College