Book Review

The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science / Written by Julie Des Jardins

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Abstract

One of the greatest fictions of the professional scientist, particularly in the first half of the twentieth century, was that “he” conducted his research in a solitary environment; a superman, he engaged in experiments tirelessly, reviewing his notes in isolation until—Eureka!—he discovered a new truth about nature. In The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science, Julie Des Jardins does not seek to discredit the work of Archimedes; rather, she demonstrates that the image of the superman-scientist saturated the public mindset from the late nineteenth century through the 1960s, and perhaps through the present. She shows that collaborative work has been central to modern scientific advances, and that women were systematically excluded or marginalized from a range of collaborative opportunities, from formal research teams to informal lunchroom discussions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalYale Journal for Humanities in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

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