The inspiring stories of long-overlooked women physicists and astronomers who discovered the fundamental rules of the universe and reshaped the rules of society
Women physicists and astronomers from around the world have transformed science and society, but the critical roles they played in their fields are not always well-sung. What do we lose when we ignore these hidden pioneers?
Her Space, Her Time, authored by award-winning quantum physicist Shohini Ghose, brings together the stories of these remarkable women to celebrate their indelible scientific contributions. Ghose weaves a collective story of scientific innovation, inspirational leadership, and overcoming invisibility that will leave a lasting impression on any reader curious about the rule-breakers and trendsetters who illuminated our understanding of the universe.
“This book is a vital, intimate chronicle of the indomitable women science pioneers who fought to better understand the universe,” says Chris Hadfield, an astronaut and bestselling author. “Shohini Ghose, an accomplished physicist herself, not only brings these women’s stories into the light, she brings them to life.”
In each chapter of the book, Ghose explores a scientific topic and explains how the women featured in that chapter revolutionized that area of physics and astronomy. As Ghose discusses time, we learn of Henrietta Leavitt and Margaret Burbidge, who helped discover the big bang and the cosmic calendar; in the chapter on space exploration, we learn of Anigaduwagi (Cherokee) aerospace scientist Mary Golda Ross, who helped make the Moon landings possible; and in the chapter on subatomic particles, we learn of Marietta Blau, Hertha Wambacher, and Bibha Chowdhuri, who contributed to the discovery of the building blocks of the universe, and, in doing so, played a crucial role in determining who gets to do physics today.
“Women have always played a role in unraveling the secrets of the universe,” Ghose writes in the book. “They did not need the permission of men to be curious. They fought for the right to enter the world’s top universities, to become researchers and scientists. They found ways to see the hidden laws of nature, even as they themselves remained unseen. Their work often led to Nobel Prizes being awarded to their male colleagues. Their own contributions were invariably devalued or discounted, or attributed to men. But they persisted.”
Her Space, Her Time in the media:
New Scientist reviewed the book, mentioning Ghose’s coverage of the rich history of women’s underappreciated contributions to astronomy and physics.
American Scientist called Her Space, Her Time “required reading” in their recent review.
49th Shelf included Her Space, Her Time on its list of most anticipated books for fall 2023.
The Next Big Idea Club included the book in its round-up of must-read books for October 2023.
“This carefully researched collection of important scientific contributions by women will inspire a new generation of young women to consider a career in science.” —Arthur B. McDonald, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics; Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University