Women in Science Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Role of females in science [...] Rachel Carson and Barbara McClintock and compare each scientist to general principals characterizing the careers of women in science.


One becomes a scientist by viewing the world in a particular manner; scientists select for study those aspects of the world that are amenable to analysis by scientific methodology. A person acting as a scientist constructs a scientific domain out of the world when s/he adopts a scientific attitude (Grinnell 2).

Most scientists face obstacles at some point in their career. Their research does not produce the results they expected. They lose their funding and must move to another research location. Critics do not agree with their findings or methods. When the scientist is a woman, she often faces even greater obstacles than her male counterparts. Rachel Carson and Barbara McClintock are two such women scientists, who worked relentlessly toward their goals, and often faced uphill battles with their research, findings, and public personas.

The earliest contemporary feminist scholarship on the natural sciences tended to focus on the barriers aspiring women scientists have faced in the past (and continued to face in the present)...(Keller and Longino 2).

Today, more women participate in scientific discovery and research than ever before, yet many still face barriers. Some have success breaking the barrier by recognizing "The opportunities are the possibilities of understanding phenomena in new ways;...we can entertain the possibility that quite different accounts might emerge from other locations with the benefit of different emotional orientations" (Keller and Longino 269).


Rachel Carson may be most well-known for writing the classics "Silent Spring" and "The Sea Around Us," but before she became a writer, she hoped to study and work as a scientist, but could not find a position. She did work as a biologist for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, but soon moved to the information service.

She wanted to do scientific research, but as a woman she faced the usual difficulties of the time in getting a decent position in science, whether at a university, in private industry, or with the government. She did manage to get a position with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (later the Fish and Wildlife Service), and her talent as a writer led to her becoming the bureau's editor-in-chief of information service (Stevenson and Byerly 200).

She began writing as a way to make extra income to help support herself and her mother, and left the Bureau of Fishers in 1952 to devote herself to writing. She began studying the effects of pesticides on people and animals as early as 1945. "The more I learned about the use of pesticides, the more appalled I became,' Carson recalled"(Matthiessen). She went on to write one of the most influential volumes of the decade, "Silent Spring," which vehemently condemned (with startling and graphic research as evidence) the use of pesticides in commercial and agricultural spraying for the control of insects. Her description of the total annihilation of songbird populations where spraying occurred is chilling even today. "The agricultural chemical industry reacted vehemently to what it perceived as a threat to its existence. Carson was accused of being nothing more than a hysterical woman, a sentimental nature lover without professional credentials who was trying to wreck the agricultural economy" (Stevenson and Byerly 201).

In "Silent Spring," Carson wrote the use of pesticides "raise a question that is not only scientific but moral. The question is whether any 'civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized'" (Carson 99). The same questions face our world today with the threat of nuclear attack and biological warfare looming on the horizon. Carson's work helped the world recognize the destructive and deadly powers of DDT and its relatives, and helped establish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Carson did not live to see the results of her research and writing in "Silent Spring" - she died of breast cancer in 1964, just a year after the book's release. Like McClintock, Carson never married; her devotion was to her mother and her research.


Dr. Barbara McClintock won a Nobel Prize in 1983, after more than fifty years of research in genetic transposition (called "jumping genes"). She was eighty-one when the Nobel committee finally recognized her, and was the first American woman…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Women In Science" (2002, October 09) Retrieved December 7, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/women-in-science-136351

"Women In Science" 09 October 2002. Web.7 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/women-in-science-136351>

"Women In Science", 09 October 2002, Accessed.7 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/women-in-science-136351

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Women and Outsourcing

    Women in the Major Religions The role of women in organized religion has been an issue of discussion and debate for many years. It gained significant attention as the "women's rights" movement gathered momentum, and it has been fueled further by recent global events. After the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, interest in religious practices in Afghanistan gathered a lot of attention. That is because the

  • Science Technology on the Modern Era Family Structures

    Science/Technology on the Modern Era Family structures and social relationships in North America have undergone significant changes in the modern era, largely because of scientific/technological advancements. Such advancements have propelled the Women's Movement, caused a transformation of youth culture, and altered dating habits. This paper explores the positive and negative impacts of scientific/technological advancements in North America, how such advancements influenced the Women's Movement, and how the Women's Movement has

  • Women and Men Are Made Not Born Debate This Statement

    Women and men are made, not born. Debate this statement Women and Men Are Made, Not Born The statement that - "women and men are made, not born" - invokes the notion that, it is not by birth that one acquires their gender but rather by the process of socialization. This brings into perspective the need to understand what gender is and whether, biological determination of gender at birth is sufficient. This

  • Women s Higher Education From 1920 to 1945

    Women's Higher Education From 1920 To 1945 The female college students from 1920 to 1945 have had a lasting impact on women's education in the United States, which is not surprising since that generation of women was the first generation to attend colleges or universities in large groups. One of the most significant impacts is that they helped shift the face of higher education, so that women at colleges and universities

  • Women and Health Agenda Over the Last

    Women and Health Agenda Over the Last 20 Years This review is about women's health demands and their contribution in creating a healthy society. For many decades, World Health Organization (WHO) has had tremendous measures that concern women's health. Women's health remains a crucial priority by various healthcare agencies. This review explains why various healthcare institutions take a great initiative in ensuring that women's health remains an urgent priority in the

  • Women s Rights in Saudi Arabia Despite Recent

    Women's Rights In Saudi Arabia Despite recent media attention stemming from Saudi Arabia's recent legislative decision to allow women the right to vote and run in the 2015 municipal elections, the truth remains that Saudi Arabian women remain some of the most tightly-controlled and oppressed populations in the world in terms of legislation and cultural practices -- both of which prohibit them from having the same rights as men. In viewing

  • Women s Education 1840s an Analysis of Women s

    Women's Education 1840s An Analysis of Women's Education in the 1840s Women in both Britain and America were set to receive greater attention in the realm of academia in the 1840s than they had in decades prior. The Bronte sisters had both begun their writing careers that same decade and Elizabeth Gaskell's first novel was published at the end of it. Mary Shelley had been writing for nearly three decades already --

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved