Women in Science

In: Historical Events

Submitted By nyam
Words 5185
Pages 21
History of Women in Science
Women have continually played a part in scientific endeavor, even prior to invention of the term ‘scientist’. Nevertheless, in Western culture, science and femininity lacked unity and the masculine painting of science revealed not only that more males did science, but that science itself was seen as an integrally masculine venture.
The notion that mathematics and science were unsuitable or ‘hard’ for women, and even ‘at odds’ with real femininity, can be trailed back to the beginning of modern science and the commencement of the Royal Society in the seventeenth century. Then ‘femininity’ became the exact opposite of the new, masculine, experimental science of Newton and his colleagues who needed to break from the passive, reflective analytical style of outdated ‘natural philosophy’, the former word for science. (Schiebinger, 1996). This divide that detached women from the new experimental science, was made a lot wider by the Nature’s tradition being embodied in female form only. The masculine scientists made ‘mother nature’ their goal of research, and branded her as a female muse who could trick them, but if trained would also permit them to ‘enter her secrets’. This entire trap cast femininity as the inactive, topic of investigation and the male as the virile, enthusiastic investigator; a dualism that just increased the difference between science and femininity (Jordanova, 1991).
Regardless of this, there existed women scientists— botanists, mathematicians, astronomers chemists and more—who took part in science in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Actually, Ann Whitfield, who wrote on the outcomes of a thunderstorm in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, in 1760 was the first female to have published an article to the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions. In the end of the eighteenth century, Caroline Herschel, an astronomer,…...

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