Lady Science is 2 Years Old!
Over the past year, Lady Science has published amazing original work by a new cohort of contributors. Afton Woodward’s wrote on an 18th century play called Lady Science, Sara Horne wrote about botanist Agnes Chase, Joy Rankin investigated the uses of graphic novels in teaching history, and Lydia Pyne wrote about the challenges of writing women back into the history of paleoanthropology.
The project has grown substantially in the last year, and we’ve expanded our team. Joy Rankin, Contributing Editor, studies people who historically have not been considered scientists or technologists but who have, nonetheless, produced and applied knowledge about the natural world. Kathleen Sheppard, Contributing Editor, is a historian of science focusing on the history of British archaeology and women in science. Nathan Kapoor, our Managing Editor, works on the history of electrification, technology and empire, engineering ethics, and women and gender studies. Jaime Tillotson, our Grant Writer, is an artist whose studio practice focuses on second-hand consumerism as an art-curatorial action, souvenir aesthetic, and the artist's hand within seemingly mass-produced editions. Our stalwart and long-suffering Copy Editor is Stephanie Shasteen, who teaches dual-credit English and plans to pursue a Phd studying the relationships between language, literacy, culture, identity, and social justice.
In addition to adding new people to our team, we have expanded the scope and presence of Lady Science in the last year to include a dedicated website and new features like our blog, media recommendations, and an easy-to-use pitch form. We have an active social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. On the blog, we post a weekly digest of feminist writing from around the web, as well as other pieces on pop culture and current events.
This year we have explored different kinds of writing and welcomed new perspectives from our contributing writers. Some of our essays have taken on a more personal bent, reflecting our belief that the historical is oftentimes personal. Contributing editors and writers have brought their own unique voices and experiences to Lady Science, opening up more possibilities for how women’s stories can be told.
Since our anthology release in January 2016, we’ve been featured on Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog by astronomer and science communicator Phil Plait, who also wrote the anthology’s foreword. We’ve also given two interviews. In February, we spoke with University of British Columbia’s Katie Macintosh of Lady Radio about our approach and theoretical framework for Lady Science. And just last month in September, Emma Backe, editor for The Geek Anthropologist, interviewed us about the editorial process behind Lady Science and our thoughts of women in science and pop culture.
Leila and Anna presented about this project at the Midwest Junto for the History of Science in April, and they will be at The Society for Literature, Science and the Arts/History of Science Society Meeting in Atlanta in November.
The first anthology has almost 700 downloads. These are significant numbers, especially when compared to the average sales of similar academic volumes. In addition, we’ve heard from professors who are using Lady Science content in the classroom to teach gender and science. We’re excited to continue this important work with the second volume of Lady Science, to be released January 27, 2017. This year we will feature new contributors, a new introduction, and a brand new foreword written by historian of technology Marie Hicks. She is an assistant professor of history of technology at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois. She researches how gender and sexuality bring hidden technological dynamics to light. Her first book, Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing (coming out January 2017 from MIT Press) looks at how women's experiences change the core narrative of the history of computing and drastically alter what we think we know about the technological progress.
In our next year, we are excited to welcome new contributors and pursue new collaborations with other scholars and organizations. We remain committed to our mission of tearing down the patriarchy.
About our new logo: We’ve chosen the oil lamp as a symbol of knowledge and of the act of illuminating the history of women in science. The oil lamp also evokes a domestic context, one that often prevented women from participating in science, but the domestic has also served as a place where women pursued their own forms of inquiry in defiance, or in service of, their prescribed roles.
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