Learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion topics related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math/Medicine). Hear the untold stories of some great people through history that have helped change the world.
The Arbornaut by Meg Lowman; Sylvia A. Earle (Contribution by)"An eye-opening and enchanting book by one of our major scientist-explorers." --Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper's Wife Nicknamed the "Real-Life Lorax" by National Geographic, the biologist, botanist, and conservationist Meg Lowman--aka "CanopyMeg"--takes us on an adventure into the "eighth continent" of the world's treetops, along her journey as a tree scientist, and into climate action Welcome to the eighth continent! As a graduate student exploring the rain forests of Australia, Meg Lowman realized that she couldn't monitor her beloved leaves using any of the usual methods. So she put together a climbing kit: she sewed a harness from an old seat belt, gathered hundreds of feet of rope, and found a tool belt for her pencils and rulers. Up she went, into the trees. Forty years later, Lowman remains one of the world's foremost arbornauts, known as the "real-life Lorax." She planned one of the first treetop walkways and helps create more of these bridges through the eighth continent all over the world. With a voice as infectious in its enthusiasm as it is practical in its optimism, The Arbornaut chronicles Lowman's irresistible story. From climbing solo hundreds of feet into the air in Australia's rainforests to measuring tree growth in the northeastern United States, from searching the redwoods of the Pacific coast for new life to studying leaf eaters in Scotland's Highlands, from conducting a BioBlitz in Malaysia to conservation planning in India and collaborating with priests to save Ethiopia's last forests, Lowman launches us into the life and work of a field scientist, ecologist, and conservationist. She offers hope, specific plans, and recommendations for action; despite devastation across the world, through trees, we can still make an immediate and lasting impact against climate change. A blend of memoir and fieldwork account, The Arbornaut gives us the chance to live among scientists and travel the world--even in a hot-air balloon! It is the engrossing, uplifting story of a nerdy tree climber--the only girl at the science fair--who becomes a giant inspiration, a groundbreaking, ground-defying field biologist, and a hero for trees everywhere. Includes black-and-white illustrations
Call Number: QK31.L69 A3 2022
Publication Date: 2022-05-17
The Autobiography of a Transgender Scientist by Ben Barres; Nancy Hopkins (Foreword by)A leading scientist describes his life, his gender transition, his scientific work, and his advocacy for gender equality in science. Ben Barres was known for his groundbreaking scientific work and for his groundbreaking advocacy for gender equality in science. In this book, completed shortly before his death from pancreatic cancer in December 2017, Barres (born in 1954) describes a life full of remarkable accomplishments--from his childhood as a precocious math and science whiz to his experiences as a female student at MIT in the 1970s to his female-to-male transition in his forties, to his scientific work and role as teacher and mentor at Stanford. Barres recounts his early life--his interest in science, first manifested as a fascination with the mad scientist in Superman; his academic successes; and his gender confusion. Barres felt even as a very young child that he was assigned the wrong gender. After years of being acutely uncomfortable in his own skin, Barres transitioned from female to male. He reports he felt nothing but relief on becoming his true self. He was proud to be a role model for transgender scientists. As an undergraduate at MIT, Barres experienced discrimination, but it was after transitioning that he realized how differently male and female scientists are treated. He became an advocate for gender equality in science, and later in life responded pointedly to Larry Summers's speculation that women were innately unsuited to be scientists. Privileged white men, Barres writes, "miss the basic point that in the face of negative stereotyping, talented women will not be recognized." At Stanford, Barres made important discoveries about glia, the most numerous cells in the brain, and he describes some of his work. "The most rewarding part of his job," however, was mentoring young scientists. That, and his advocacy for women and transgender scientists, ensures his legacy.
Call Number: QP353.4.B37 A3 2018
Publication Date: 2018-10-30
Becoming Dr. Q: my journey from migrant farm worker to brain surgeon by Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa; Mim Eichler Rivas (Contribution by)Today he is known as Dr. Q, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and neuroscientist who leads cutting-edge research to cure brain cancer. But not too long ago, he was Freddy, a nineteen-year-old undocumented migrant worker toiling in the tomato fields of central California. In this gripping memoir, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa tells his amazing life story--from his impoverished childhood in the tiny village of Palaco, Mexico, to his harrowing border crossing and his transformation from illegal immigrant to American citizen and gifted student at the University of California at Berkeley and at Harvard Medical School. Packed with adventure and adversity--including a few terrifying brushes with death--Becoming Dr. Q is a testament to persistence, hard work, the power of hope and imagination, and the pursuit of excellence. It's also a story about the importance of family, of mentors, and of giving people a chance.
Handmade: a scientist's search for meaning through making by Anna PloszajskiFrom atomic structures to theories about magnetic forces, scientific progress has given us a good grasp on the properties of many different materials. However, most scientists cannot measure the temperature of steel just by looking at it, or sculpt stone into all kinds of shapes, or know how it feels to blow up a balloon of glass. Handmade is the story of materials through making and doing. Author and material scientist Anna Ploszajski journeys into the domain of makers and craftspeople to comprehend how the most popular materials really work. Anna has the fresh perspective of someone at the forefront of the field. Each chapter features her accounts of learning from masters of their respective crafts. Along the way, Anna builds a fuller picture of materials and their place in society, as well as how they have intersected with her own life experiences - from land racing on American salt flats to swimming the English Channel. She visits a blacksmith, explores how working with the primal material, clay, has brought about some of the most advanced technologies, and delves down to the atomic scale of glass to find out what makes it 'glassy'. Handmade affords us a new understanding of the materials we encounter every day and an appreciation for the skills needed to fashion them into objects that are perfectly formed for the jobs they do.
Call Number: TA403.2 .P56 2021
Publication Date: 2022-07-19
Lab Girl by Hope JahrenWinner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography A New York Times 2016 Notable Book National Best Seller Named one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People" An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016 A Washington Post Best Memoir of 2016 A TIME and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016 "A beautifully written memoir about the life of a woman in science, a brilliant friendship, and the profundity of trees. Terrific." --Barack Obama An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life--but it is also so much more. Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren's remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom's labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done "with both the heart and the hands"; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work. Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home. Jahren's probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.
Call Number: QH31.J344 A3 2016
Publication Date: 2016-04-05
A Lab of One's Own by Rita Colwell; Sharon Bertsch McGrayneA riveting memoir-manifesto from the first female director of the National Science Foundation about the entrenched sexism in science, the elaborate detours women have taken to bypass the problem, and how to fix the system. If you think sexism thrives only on Wall Street or in Hollywood, you haven't visited a lab, a science department, a research foundation, or a biotech firm. Rita Colwell is one of the top scientists in America: the groundbreaking microbiologist who discovered how cholera survives between epidemics and the former head of the National Science Foundation. But when she first applied for a graduate fellowship in bacteriology, she was told, "We don't waste fellowships on women." A lack of support from some male superiors would lead her to change her area of study six times before completing her PhD. A Lab of One's Own documents all Colwell has seen and heard over her six decades in science, from sexual harassment in the lab to obscure systems blocking women from leading professional organizations or publishing their work. Along the way, she encounters other women pushing back against the status quo, including a group at MIT who revolt when they discover their labs are a fraction of the size of their male colleagues'. Resistance gave female scientists special gifts: forced to change specialties so many times, they came to see things in a more interdisciplinary way, which turned out to be key to making new discoveries in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Colwell would also witness the advances that could be made when men and women worked together--often under her direction, such as when she headed a team that helped to uncover the source of the anthrax used in the 2001 letter attacks. A Lab of One's Own shares the sheer joy a scientist feels when moving toward a breakthrough, and the thrill of uncovering a whole new generation of female pioneers. But it is also the science book for the #MeToo era, offering an astute diagnosis of how to fix the problem of sexism in science--and a celebration of the women pushing back.
Call Number: Q143.C615 A3 2020
Publication Date: 2020-08-04
My Brief History by Stephen HawkingNATIONAL BESTSELLER Stephen Hawking has dazzled readers worldwide with a string of bestsellers exploring the mysteries of the universe. Now, for the first time, perhaps the most brilliant cosmologist of our age turns his gaze inward for a revealing look at his own life and intellectual evolution. My Brief History recounts Stephen Hawking's improbable journey, from his postwar London boyhood to his years of international acclaim and celebrity. Lavishly illustrated with rarely seen photographs, this concise, witty, and candid account introduces readers to a Hawking rarely glimpsed in previous books: the inquisitive schoolboy whose classmates nicknamed him Einstein; the jokester who once placed a bet with a colleague over the existence of a particular black hole; and the young husband and father struggling to gain a foothold in the world of physics and cosmology. Writing with characteristic humility and humor, Hawking opens up about the challenges that confronted him following his diagnosis of ALS at age twenty-one. Tracing his development as a thinker, he explains how the prospect of an early death urged him onward through numerous intellectual breakthroughs, and talks about the genesis of his masterpiece A Brief History of Time--one of the iconic books of the twentieth century. Clear-eyed, intimate, and wise, My Brief History opens a window for the rest of us into Hawking's personal cosmos.
Call Number: QC16.H33 A3 2013
Publication Date: 2013-09-10
Phosphorescence by Julia Baird"Both timeless and timely, this is a book of wisdom and wonder" (Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March), a deeply personal exploration of what can sustain us through our darkest moments. "What has fascinated and sustained me over these last few years has been the notion that we have the ability to find, nurture, and carry our own inner, living light--a light to ward off the darkness. This is not about burning brightly; it's about yielding a more simple phosphorescence--being luminous, having stored light for later use. Staying alive, remaining upright, even when lashed by doubt." After surviving a difficult heartbreak and battle with cancer, acclaimed author and columnist Julia Baird began thinking deeply about how we, as people, persevere through the most challenging circumstances. She started to wonder, when we are overwhelmed by illness, loss or pain, or a tragedy outside our control: How can we keep putting one foot in front of the other? Baird went in search of the magic that fuels the light within--our own phosphorescence. In this stunning book, she reflects on the things that lit her way through the darkness, especially the surprising strength found in connecting with nature and not just experiencing awe and wonder about the world around her, but deliberately hunting it, daily. Baird also writes about crossbeams of resilience: nurturing friendships and a quiet faith, pursuing silence, fighting for what she believes in, the importance of feeling small, learning from her mother's example of stoic grace. She also explores how others nurture their inner light, interviewing the founder of the modern forest therapy movement in Tokyo, a jellyfish scientist in Tasmania, and a tattooed priest from Colorado, among others. Weaving together candid and moving memoir with deep research and reflections on nature and the world around her, Baird inspires readers to embrace new habits and to adopt a phosphorescent outlook on life, to illuminate ourselves and our days--even in the darkest times.
Call Number: RC280.O8 B325 2020
Publication Date: 2021-07-06
A Quantum Life: my unlikely journey from the street to the stars by Hakeem Oluseyi; Joshua HorwitzIn this inspiring coming-of-age memoir, a world-renowned astrophysicist emerges from an impoverished childhood and crime-filled adolescence to ascend through the top ranks of research physics. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS * "You'll encounter one extraordinary turn of events after another, as the extraordinary chess player, puzzle solver, and occasional grifter works his way from grinding poverty and deep despair to worldwide acclaim as a physicist."--Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society Navigating poverty, violence, and instability, a young James Plummer had two guiding stars--a genius IQ and a love of science. But a bookish nerd is a soft target, and James faced years of bullying and abuse. As he struggled to survive his childhood in some of the country's toughest urban neighborhoods in New Orleans, Houston, and LA, and later in the equally poor backwoods of Mississippi, he adopted the persona of "gangsta nerd"--dealing weed in juke joints while winning state science fairs with computer programs that model Einstein's theory of relativity. Once admitted to the elite physics PhD program at Stanford University, James found himself pulled between the promise of a bright future and a dangerous crack cocaine habit he developed in college. With the encouragement of his mentor and the sole Black professor in the physics department, James confronted his personal demons as well as the entrenched racism and classism of the scientific establishment. When he finally seized his dream of a life in astrophysics, he adopted a new name, Hakeem Muata Oluseyi, to honor his African ancestors. Alternately heartbreaking and hopeful, A Quantum Life narrates one man's remarkable quest across an ever-expanding universe filled with entanglement and choice.
Call Number: QB460.72.O48 A3 2021
Publication Date: 2021-06-15
Reaching for the Moon by Katherine Johnson"This rich volume is a national treasure." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Captivating, informative, and inspiring...Easy to follow and hard to put down." --School Library Journal (starred review) The inspiring autobiography of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who helped launch Apollo 11. As a young girl, Katherine Johnson showed an exceptional aptitude for math. In school she quickly skipped ahead several grades and was soon studying complex equations with the support of a professor who saw great promise in her. But ability and opportunity did not always go hand in hand. As an African American and a girl growing up in an era of brutal racism and sexism, Katherine faced daily challenges. Still, she lived her life with her father's words in mind: "You are no better than anyone else, and nobody else is better than you." In the early 1950s, Katherine was thrilled to join the organization that would become NASA. She worked on many of NASA's biggest projects including the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon. Katherine Johnson's story was made famous in the bestselling book and Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Now in Reaching for the Moon she tells her own story for the first time, in a lively autobiography that will inspire young readers everywhere.
Call Number: QA29.J64 A3 2020
Publication Date: 2020-05-05
Spineless: the science of jellyfish and the art of growing a backbone by Juli Berwald"A book full of wonders" --Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk "Witty, insightful. . . .The story of jellyfish. . . is a significant part of the environmental story. Berwald's engaging account of these delicate, often ignored creatures shows how much they matter to our oceans' future." --New York Times Book Review Jellyfish have been swimming in our oceans for well over half a billion years, longer than any other animal that lives on the planet. They make a venom so toxic it can kill a human in three minutes. Their sting--microscopic spears that pierce with five million times the acceleration of gravity--is the fastest known motion in the animal kingdom. Made of roughly 95 percent water, some jellies are barely perceptible virtuosos of disguise, while others glow with a luminescence that has revolutionized biotechnology. Yet until recently, jellyfish were largely ignored by science, and they remain among the most poorly understood of ocean dwellers. More than a decade ago, Juli Berwald left a career in ocean science to raise a family in landlocked Austin, Texas, but jellyfish drew her back to the sea. Recent, massive blooms of billions of jellyfish have clogged power plants, decimated fisheries, and caused millions of dollars of damage. Driven by questions about how overfishing, coastal development, and climate change were contributing to a jellyfish population explosion, Juli embarked on a scientific odyssey. She traveled the globe to meet the biologists who devote their careers to jellies, hitched rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild, raised jellyfish in her dining room, and throughout it all marveled at the complexity of these alluring and ominous biological wonders. Gracefully blending personal memoir with crystal-clear distillations of science, Spineless is the story of how Juli learned to navigate and ultimately embrace her ambition, her curiosity, and her passion for the natural world. She discovers that jellyfish science is more than just a quest for answers. It's a call to realize our collective responsibility for the planet we share.