A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman

Morrow. Jun. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780063086906. $29.99. MEMOIR
Elkins-Tanton, principal investigator of the NASA Psyche Mission and ASU vice president for the Interplanetary Initiative, has written an engaging and candid memoir of her path to a career in science. Professor Elkins-Tanton traces her journey from experiencing childhood trauma to earning a PhD from MIT, conducting research in Siberia, getting elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and being only the second woman awarded a major NASA space exploration project. The $800 million NASA space mission to asteroid Psyche will launch in August 2022. Elkins-Tanton’s memoir spotlights the challenges and successes of being a woman in a male-dominated field. It also provides an opportunity for her to share her philosophy of life: always ask questions, but more importantly, listen to the answers.
VERDICT With wide appeal to a wide audience, this work provides a closer look at the human side of science.
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