Books to Honor Women's Contributions to Science

During my scientific studies and doctorate in applied chemistry, I met women with brilliant and innovative ideas. But emerging in the scientific field has not always been easy for women. History is full of women who have done great research contributing to the most sensational discoveries but how many of them have received the right recognition? Probably very few. In this post, I want to list some books (graphic novels) that introduced me to strong and determined women who, with their research, have made an immense contribution to science. Let’s dive into the best Books to Honor Women’s Contributions to Science.

Books to Honor Women’s Contributions to Science

Books to Honor Women's Contributions to Science
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1. “Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life” by William Roy & Sylvain Dorange

Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life” by William Roy & Sylvain Dorange. Hady Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress, film producer, and also inventor. In “Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life” the author narrates her life from her childhood spent in Austria to her Hollywood film career. This graphic novel also highlights her inventive side by telling how Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, which however was not given the right importance. Only years later it became clear how innovative that invention was. So important that we still find applications for it today, implemented in our technological systems, such as Bluetooth.

The story is compelling. A woman full of courage and innate creativity. Not only a cinema icon but also the co-inventor of communication technology.

2. Primates by Jim Ottaviani

Primates by Jim Ottaviani tells the story of three great scientists Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. This nonfiction graphic novel describes, through Maris Wicks’ illustrations, the studies of these three great primatologists of the last century. Thanks to them we now know more about chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. To learn more about the animal world “Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas”.

3. Astronauts: Women on the final frontier

Astronauts: Women on the final frontier is the second work that Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks provide us. From the first woman in space in 1963 with the Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, it took years until space also became a place for female scientists. In this graphic novel, we retrace those years with the narrating voice of Mary Cleave, discovering more about her own adventure in space. 

4- Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu is a collection of stories of women who, although geographically distant, are united by great strength and personality that led them to change history and society. In this book are told through the perfect illustrations of Pénélope Bagieu the lives of many women, more or less known, who have influenced historical events and certainly deserved more recognition. In this graphic novel, we find pioneers, inventors, artists, journalists and then scientists, activists, and much more. Each of them driven by strong values and principles is going to lead to change.

5. Queen of Physics

Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped unlock the secrets of the atom by Teresa Robeson. This graphic novel tells the story of a woman who, with the support of her parents, manages to cultivate her passion for science in a historical period when women were not allowed to go to school. Her thirst for knowledge will lead her to gain full recognition from the scientific sector until she is nicknamed Queen of Physics. This graphic novel is easy to read and I consider it suitable for children’s reading as well.

Conclusion | Books to Honor Women’s Contributions to Science

These are the graphic novels that I would recommend on the topic of women and science. If you know of other graphic novels about women and science, feel free to leave me their title in the comments. I’m always looking for new books to read. 

Enjoy your reading.

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