The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey Into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred

Bold Type Books. Mar. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781541724709. $28. SCI
Taking us into the heart of dark matter research and the study of cosmology, Prescod-Weinstein (theoretical physics, Univ. of New Hampshire) delves into her own story to highlight how the practice of science, and the ability to explore the wonders of the universe, are dependent on the conditions present in society. How do gender, race, and sexual identities determine access to science and the ability to participate in scientific research? These are questions that fascinate the author as much as do quarks, axions, dark matter, and other subjects of theoretical astrophysics. She provides an honest, raw look at how she had to overcome the prejudices and abuses of a largely cisgender white male profession as a woman of Afro-Caribbean, Jewish descent who identifies as queer agender in order to explore her passion.
VERDICT Part introduction to quantum mechanics and cosmology, part memoir, and part sociological study, this work challenges readers to question the nature of how science is done in contemporary society, as well as what it means when everyone has a seat at the cosmological table. For general science readers, gender and feminist studies students, and those concerned about the role feminist and racial politics plays in STEM professions.
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