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A Lab of One's Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War (Hardback)
  • A Lab of One's Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War (Hardback)

A Lab of One's Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War (Hardback)

Hardback 352 Pages / Published: 11/01/2018
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Many extraordinary female scientists, doctors, and engineers tasted independence and responsibility for the first time during the First World War. How did this happen? Patricia Fara reveals how suffragists, such as Virginia Woolf's sister, Ray Strachey, had already aligned themselves with scientific and technological progress, and that during the dark years of war they mobilized women to enter conventionally male domains such as science and medicine. Fara tells the stories of women such as: mental health pioneer Isabel Emslie, chemist Martha Whiteley, a co-inventor of tear gas, and botanist Helen Gwynne Vaughan. Women were now carrying out vital research in many aspects of science, but could it last? Though suffragist Millicent Fawcett declared triumphantly that 'the war revolutionised the industrial position of women. It found them serfs, and left them free', the outcome was very different. Although women had helped the country to victory and won the vote for those over thirty, they had lost the battle for equality. Men returning from the Front reclaimed their jobs, and conventional hierarchies were re-established even though the nation now knew that women were fully capable of performing work traditionally reserved for men. Fara examines how the bravery of these pioneer women scientists, temporarily allowed into a closed world before the door clanged shut again, paved the way for today's women scientists. Yet, inherited prejudices continue to limit women's scientific opportunities.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198794981
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 490 g
Dimensions: 221 x 143 x 32 mm

A Lab of One's Own is a great title for an important book.... Patricia Fara paints all the nuances of the trajectories of women scientists, keeping in the background the specificities of a war economy, the instrumental place of science within it and the ambiguities and new challenges faced by women. * Cleo Chassonnery-Zaigouche, LSE Review of Books *
Enthralling book. * Uta Frith, Literary Review *
An engrossing, exciting tale. * Dava Sobel, International New York Times *
This thought-provoking history writing at its most compelling. * Uta Frith, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience *
Fascinating book... Carefully researched and absorbing... Informative and moving, A Lab of Ones Own is a timely reminder in helping us eliminate the inequalities that professional women still face today. * June Purvis, Times Higher Education *
As this remarkable book demonstrates, Fara is not only one of Britain's leading historians of science, but also one of her generation's most eloquent storytellers. * Joanna Bourke, BBC History Magazine *
An engrossing, exciting tale of uncelebrated scientists who innovated and experimented against a background of grand historical events. * New York Times *
Interesting study. * Lucy Lethbridge, Financial Times *
Fara's nuanced narrative [is] more than the sum of its parts. * Elizabeth Bruton, Nature *
Important book... a compelling tale... her book charts a significant chapter in lost feminist history. * Wendy Moore, The Guardian *
A densely written, well-documented history of the British experience that will resonate with American women as well. * Kirkus Review *
An urgent and absorbing tale. Fara's impassioned yet rigorous work never falters or compromises in its search for a history that is both true and continues to matter a very great deal. * Charlotte Sleigh, Professor of Science Humanities, University of Kent *
Vividly and movingly, A Lab Of One's Own, brings to life the forgotten story of the scientific, mathematical, medical and technological contributions made by British women during the First World War, with legacies and lessons that still matter today. Patricia Fara deserves a medal. * Gregory Radick, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds *
Fascinating... [Patricia Fara] has uncovered the hidden, suppressed histories of scientists and clinicians who made great contributions to war and welfare, and she has woven a broader narrative of gain and loss that still resonates today. * Jeremy Sanders, Former Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry, University of Cambridge *
The stories in this book made me very happy that I came of age in the middle of the 20th century, when the world of science welcomed a woman's questions and valued her experiments. * Maxine F. Singer *
A book full of fascinating insight and anecdote about women working in or with science around the time of the 1st World War. So many hidden stories and amazing heroines. * Dame Athene Donald *

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