Women in Science Courses (was BIOnic woman)

Margaret Alic malic at ADMIN.OGI.EDU
Sun Feb 23 11:14:11 EST 1997


I have found this to be an interesting topic and wanted to add a bit of
"historic" perspective.  For several years in the 1970s, I taught a
History
of Women in Science course at Portland State University. The course was
offered jointly between the Women's Studies Program and the Biology
Department, although we covered all fields of science and used faculty
from all the science departments as resources.  There were both men and
women in the course.  At the time, I had a BA in biology, was working as a
research technician, and was involved in the women's movement.  The
Women's Studies Program had put out a call to the community for someone to
teach such a course.  Although I knew very little about the subject --
I had just read Anne Sayre's book "Rosalind Franklin and DNA" -- I
presumed, correctly it turned out, that no one else knew much about the
subject either.  At the time, nothing had been written for at least 50
years on women scientists in history.  So the students went to the
library and began to do their own research and so did I. Eventually I
turned my research into a book ("Hypatia's Heritage: A History of Women in
Science from Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century" Beacon Press,
Boston; The Women's Press, London, 1986). Now there is so much literature 
that I can no longer keep up with it.  The study of women in science has
become a subject in its own right within the history,  philosophy and
sociology of science.  Sometimes it is gratifying to look at how far we
have come in 20 years!

Margaret Alic
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology




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