History of Women and Science, Health, and Technology

History of Women and Science, Health, and Technology: A Bibliographic Guide to the Professions and the Disciplines

Second Edition

General Editor: Phyllis Holman Weisbard
Associate Editor: Rima D. Apple
Editor of the First Edition: Susan E. Searing

University of Wisconsin System Women’s Studies Librarian
430 Memorial Library, 728 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706
This bibliography expands and updates the 1988 version edited by Susan E. Searing with the assistance of Rima D. Apple. That edition sprang from the vision and hard work of a nationwide group of scholars. Members of the Women’s Caucus of the History of Science Society decided to collaborate on a basic bibliography on the history of women in science, health, and technology, and several members of the Caucus contributed core lists of readings in their areas of specialization. Their primary goal was to aid colleagues in both designing new gender-centered courses and integrating the new feminist scholarship into existing survey courses. Secondly, they wanted to make the history of women in the professions more accessible to practitioners in the various branches of science, medicine, and technology.

In 1986, Rima D. Apple, then co-chair of the Caucus, approached Susan E. Searing, Women’s Studies Librarian for the University of Wisconsin System, to propose a collaborative effort in completing the project. Susan and her staff melded the stylistically disparate lists into a consistent whole, verified and completed partial references, added reprint information where it turned up in the course of verification, and performed additional research in fields that were left uncovered. In some sections important contemporary works, especially those of a theoretical bent, were included in addition to purely historical writings. While the aim throughout the process was to be suggestive rather than comprehensive, the resultant partially-annotated bibliography filled 54 double- columned pages.

Both the 1988 edition and the current one (with citations through 1992 and an occasional 1993) cover topics that have inspired feminist scholars, including women’s experiences in the workplace, women’s education for the professions, and the interplay of scientific theory and social norms. In 1988, the compilers found a preponderance of material on the history of women in the health professions and on the biological and medical views of women, and less from the non-biological sciences, with two notable exceptions: critical perspectives on technology’s effects on women’s lives in the home and workplace and studies tracing individual careers in science and documenting discrimation.

In the past five years, scholars, organizations, and government have intensified their efforts to decrease the gender gap in science. One of the results has been an increase in the number of biographical studies of scientific careers and historical and contemporary analyses of the attitudes and methods of science itself, examining the complex relationship of women and science. Feminist research has been taking a fresh look at the history of female-dominant fields such as nursing and home economics to compare women’s experiences in and effect on those professions with their experiences in other scientific pursuits. The biographical studies are listed throughout the bibliography, and the critical analyses of science may be found in particular in the section on “Feminist Critiques of Science.”

We have again provided annotations in cases where titles were not fully expressive of content, or to call attention to specific sections of the works.

The bibliography is organized in six parts. “Overviews” begins with practical articles and books aimed at the teacher, reference bibliographies and biographical sources, and general works on the education and employment of women in the sciences. Next comes a section on the scientific views of women, especially in the fields of medicine and biology, including works on the history of the psychology of women, the association of women and madness, and contributions from the fields of sexology and sexual science. The final section of Part I lists selections from feminist literature critiquing science.

Part II, “Women in the Scientific Professions,” is divided by the branches of the sciences: astronomy; chemistry; geology and earth sciences; mathematics, statistics, and computer science; natural, biological and life sciences (including veterinary science); and physics.

Part III, “Health and Biology,” begins with bibliographies and general works on women and health, followed by works on women practitioners in the health professions (physicians and dentists, nurses, midwives, medical researchers, pharmacists, allied health professionals, and others). Health care and health issues are next assessed, including the history of gynecology and the traditional practice of obstetrics, reproductive health and birth control, alternative health systems, and other health issues, such as the effect on personal health of adverse occupational settings.

Part IV, “Home Economics/Domestic Science,” examines the history of home economics as a discipline and as it has been applied in the household, and lists biographies of women associated with the field.

Part V, “Technology,” lists citations assessing the impact of technology on women, and on the industrial workplace. The work of women inventors, the careers of engineers and technologists, and the history of reproductive technologies are other topics covered.

Part VI, “Children and Young Adult Literature,” adds a representative sample of the many biographies of women scientists written at reading levels appropriate to middle school and high school.

Within many sections, reference works and biographies are highlighted in separate sub-groupings. Most citations appear only once on the bibliography, but approximately twenty-five percent are listed in two or more places when their topics warrant such placement.

Once again, several scholars contributed lists of citations for inclusion. They include Fred M. Amram, Rima D. Apple, Monica H. Green, Caroline L. Herzenberg, Thomas J. Higgins, Evelyn Fox Keller, Ann Hibner Koblitz, Mura Mackowski, Carolyn Merchant, Ed Morman, Roberta Mura, Londa Schiebinger, and Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis. We also conducted a search of the women’s studies indexing tools (Women Studies Abstracts, Women’s Studies Index, Studies on Women Abstracts) and our own Feminist Periodicals: A Current Listing of Contents for relevant citations, along with the indispensable ISIS Current Bibliography of the History of Science and Its Current Influences, edited by John Neu. In addition, the past five year period has seen a tremendous growth in computer-assisted research, which made it possible for us to conduct database searches of the literature of all the fields represented. Much of the searching was handled by student assistant Robin Paynter, who put to use both her natural proclivities for ferreting out information and the searching techniques she acquired and perfected in library and information science courses and on the job. Student assistant Nancy Nelson turned her trained eye on all citations input, editing for accuracy and consistency of format, and Lisa Kaiser ably took on inputting and verification tasks when Robin graduated, using her journalistic know-how to integrate the parts into a coherent whole document. Our Office Senior Editor Linda Shult created a database structure to accommodate our citations, and is largely responsible for the final appearance and format. Associate Editor Rima D. Apple again spearheaded the revision, successfully obtained support for the project from the foundations and others listed below, and contributed her constructive expertise in selecting appropriate citations and in shaping the organization of the material assembled. Susan E. Searing offered encouragement and advice from her new vantage point as Acting Deputy Director of the UW-Madison General Library System. Phyllis Holman Weisbard served as general editor for the project.

The production and distribution of this bibliography have been made possible through the generosity of:

American Institute of the History of Pharmacy Fund on Women in Pharmacy, Gregory J. Higby, Director
Ruth Dickie, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison
History of Science Society, Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, President
The Merck Company Foundation, Shuang Ruy Huang, Vice President and Jeffrey L. Sturchio, Associate Director, Information Resources and Publishing, Public Affairs
School of Family Resources and Consumer Sciences, University of Wisconsin- Madison, Hamilton I. McCubbin, Dean
School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vivian M. Littlefield, Dean
The Welcome Trust, D.E. Allen, Co-ordinator, History of Medicine Programme

We gratefully acknowledge their support.