The Only Woman in the Room

The Only Woman in the Room

Why Science Is Still A Boys' Club

Book - 2015
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Random House, Inc.
A bracingly honest exploration of why there are still so few women in the hard sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computer science
 
In 2005, when Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard, asked why so few women achieve tenured positions in the hard sciences, Eileen Pollack set out to find the answer. In the 1970s, Pollack had excelled as one of Yale’s first two women to earn a bachelor of science degree in physics. But, isolated, lacking in confidence, and starved for encouragement, she abandoned her lifelong dream of becoming a theoretical physicist. Years later, she thought back on her experiences and wondered what had changed in the intervening decades, and what challenges remained. Based on six years of interviewing dozens of teachers and students and reviewing studies on gender bias, The Only Woman in the Room is an illuminating exploration of the cultural, social, psychological, and institutional barriers confronting women in the STEM disciplines. Pollack brings to light the struggles that women in the sciences are often hesitant to admit and provides hope that changing attitudes and behaviors can bring more women into fields in which they remain, to this day, seriously underrepresented.

Baker & Taylor
"Eileen Pollack had grown up in the 1960s and 70s dreaming of a career as a theoretical astrophysicist. Denied the chance to take advanced courses in science and math, she nonetheless made her way to Yale, where, despite finding herself far behind the men in her classes, she went on to graduate, summa cum laude, with honors, as one of the university's first two women to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. And yet, isolated, lacking in confidence, starved for encouragement, she abandoned her ambition to become a physicist. Years later, Pollack revisited her reasons for walking away from the career she once had coveted. She spent six years interviewing her former teachers and classmates and dozens of other women who had dropped out before completing their degrees in science. In addition, Pollack talked to experts in the field of gender studies and reviewed the most up-to-date research that seeks to document why women and minorities underperform in STEM fields. Girls who study science and math arestill belittled and teased by their male peers and teachers, even by other girls. They are led to think that any interest or achievement in science or math will diminish their popularity. They are still being steered away from advanced courses in technical fields, while deeply entrenched stereotypes lead them to see themselves as less talented than their male classmates, a condition that causes them to fulfill such expectations and perform more poorly than the boys sitting beside them. "--

Baker
& Taylor

The author explains how her abandonment of science despite graduating Yale as one of the university's first women to earn a physics degree reflects the culture of discrimination in the STEM fields.

Publisher: Boston, Massachusetts :, Beacon Press,, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780807046579
Characteristics: xxii, 266 pages ; 24 cm

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