MIT was a place of great possibility producing some of this countries finest scientific minds yet when we picture an MIT grad up until recently most of us picture a white man with heavy glasses and a pocket protector in his white shirt and you wouldn't be far off. It wasn't until 1999 that MIT formally admitted to long term discrimination against women wanting to get into the science program and those who became professors. 16 women fought long and hard for that admission of guilt but also for the recognition of their considerable contributions. The author focuses on one of the 16 - Nancy Hopkins as an example and her life and career. Nancy was one of the brainstormers unlocking the secrets of DNA and later in Cancer research yet she was overlooked, not given credit in professional papers or forums as well as denied space in programs and tenure as a professor unlike her male peers.
In the 1960's women who did not want to get married and have a family were considered odd and those that did knew they would be forced to give up a career and lab chair. This no win situation prevented some great minds from gaining any ground. It should not shock us that they were discriminated against but what does shock the reader is how long it went on unchecked. Another fine example of the scientific contributions of unseen and unheard women. 3 1/2 stars
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