No. 13: Anniversary Issue
Lady Science is 1 Year Old!
When we started this project a year ago, neither one of us had any idea that Lady Science would run even this long or that it would become a manifesto of sorts for other women and feminist historians. Just a year later, we have almost 300 subscribers, 4 contributing guest authors, 24 essays published, and an unexpected amount of support from inside and outside academia.
Thank you all for reading Lady Science and tolerating yet another piece of email in your inbox every month. Thank you all for sharing Lady Science on social media and through word of mouth. And thank you most of all for proving that the lives and voices of women are very much worth telling and writing about.
There are a number of people who have been essential to Lady Science in its first year. Most importantly, we would like to thank our contributors, who have shared their expertise and their talents with us and with our readers: Emily Margolis, Nathan Kapoor, James Burnes and Joy Rankin have all made Lady Science richer.
To commemorate one year of Lady Science, we are excited to announce that we are publishing an edited and expanded anthology of all 24 essays. We are dedicated to keeping Lady Science a free and open publication, and as such, the anthology will be available as a free downloadable e-book. The anthology will debut some new material including an introduction written by the editors and a foreword by the excellent science writer and astronomer Phil Plait. The anthology will be released in January of 2016, so stay tuned for updates!
We accept pitches all year, and for this new Lady Science year, we are rolling out a new online pitch form for contributing authors. All contributors will have the opportunity to be included in next year’s anthology, so we’d love to hear from you.
One Year of Thinking and Writing
Lady Science has always been an extension of our scholarly interests in the history of science and technology, but this platform has allowed us to pursue forms of writing and criticism that are difficult to do in the academy. First, and perhaps most obviously, we are neither impartial to nor disinterested in the subjects about which we write. We have stakes in gender equity that we want to make visible through our study of history, and we know that others do as well. Lady Science takes for granted certain ideas and frameworks about women and gender that are (rightly, of course) still being argued in the pages of scholarly journals. Much of our writing, for instance, relies on an understanding of the ways that science and scientific practices explicitly marginalize women both as objects of investigation and as investigators themselves. This gives our writing its activist flavor, and most importantly, it allows us to make concrete arguments about the way that science and the popular culture of science, as the essential underpinning of modern society, has accomplished this marginalization. We see the recovery of women’s stories in science as an essential part of the feminist project.
In addition to the conceptual freedoms of this platform, Lady Science puts us in conversation, hopefully, not only with experts, but with anyone who is interested in women in science. Here too, we have a specific agenda. Most of the stories on the internet about women in history and specifically women in the history of science appear in the form of listicles- “Ten Unsung Women in Science!” These lists have their place and their own value. These are easily shareable through social media, and they put little known women in history of science in front of people who otherwise would not be exposed to them. However, this is not the only way to write about women’s historical lives, and this is a form that we have intentionally avoided. We want to imagine these women in their historical and cultural context, in all their complexities and contradictions. Pulling women out of their culture and representing them as a number on a list just doesn’t do any of them justice. The women in the history of science were sometimes victims of their culture, but more often than not, they were its active creators.