SCIENCES

Writing for Their Lives: America’s Pioneering Female Science Journalists

MIT Aug. 2023. 280p. ISBN 9780262048163. pap. $26.95. HIST
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Like other “hidden figures” of science, the contributions of women science reporters in the United States have often been relegated to the shadows of history. Independent historian LaFollette (Science on American Television: A History) draws from the Smithsonian Institution Archives and other sources to capture the stories of some of the women who were instrumental in developing the field of science journalism between the 1920s and the 1950s and who paved the way for more women to enter the industry. The book focuses on how the organization Science Service recruited women to work on staff and as stringers when other news outlets were reluctant to do so. Science Service and its magazine led the way in providing information about scientific research, discoveries, and data in a way that was informative and entertaining to a general audience, largely due to these intrepid women, LaFollette argues. While they came from disparate backgrounds and had different interests, these women shared a love of science and worked diligently to communicate information beneficial to the public good.
VERDICT Readers interested in science, journalism history, and women’s studies will find inspiration in learning more about these talented pioneers.
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