Athena Unbound

The Advancement of Women in Science and Technology

Athena Unbound

Why are there still so few female scientists? Despite the scientific ethos of universalism and inclusion, women continue to experience real social inequities as they struggle to gain recognition in the scientific community. Based on extensive interviews and backed by quantitative analysis, this compelling work exposes the hidden barriers, subtle exclusions, and unwritten rules that confront women at every juncture along the scientific career path--from childhood to retirement. Through vivid personal accounts the authors offer an illuminating and sobering view of the effects these obstacles have on the personal and professional lives of women. They argue that women can succeed in the scientific workplace by successfully managing "social capital," those networks and relationships scientists rely on for professional support and new ideas. This benchmark volume is vital reading for all scientists and social scientists--both male and female--and for women considering a scientific career.


"The authors balance their extremely detailed analysis with a humanistic perspective as they compare and contrast the status of women scientists in different countries, characterize both exclusionary and supportive forms of networking, and, ultimately, offer some surprising and hopeful conclusions." Booklist

"...a timely contribution. While the book's focus is on academic science, it can claim greater breadth because of its concern with 'the quality of women's experience in academic science,' including how they are educated in college and graduate school...Athena Unbound makes some important suggestions. Now is the time to act upon them." Chemical & Engineering News

"I found Athena Unbound so gripping that I read it in one sitting. I expect that many women scientists, and their families, will find that it articulates as a general problem issues they have encountered in their own careers." American Scientist Sept-Oct 2001

"The eye-opening text draws upon various studies and surveys and hundreds of interviews with science students and faculty and presents recommendations for reform, especially in academia." Northwestern Summer 2001

"There's much to like in this book" Chemical & Engineering News

"The authors are to be applauded for helping to keep the unique challenges of women in science at the forefront of social consciousness." CELL May 2001