MOUNTAIN LIFE - Blue Mountains | Fall 2018

FALL 2018 ML BLUE 45 words :: Leslie Anthony In 2016, an educational, fastidiously illustrated book made its way onto the New York Times bestseller list. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World explored the contributions of trailblazing females to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, from the ancient world to modern times. It includes well-known figures such as primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers like Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon documented in the recent Hollywood film, Hidden Figures . The book features great art and some cool infographics by author Rachel Ignotofsky concerning topics like lab equipment and rates of women currently working in these fields. But while it may seem obvious to many that women have made significant contributions to science from the earliest times, it hasn’t been a smooth road. As the “Women in science” stub in Wikipedia notes: “Historians with an interest in gender and science have illuminated the scientific endeavors and accomplishments of women, the barriers they have faced, and the strategies implemented to have their work peer-reviewed and accepted in major scientific journals and other publications. The historical, critical and sociological study of these issues has become an academic discipline in its own right.” Regardless of ongoing society-wide issues, however, there are now happily more women than ever involved in and influencing science, and my own path through the discipline of biology was illuminated from the beginning by women who weren’t afraid to speak up about environmental justice and controversial theories, or to lend their passion and expertise to creating a critical mass around these issues. I was only six years old in 1962 when writer and ecologist Rachel Carson released her landmark environmental cri du coeur , the book Silent Spring , but what I heard of it—through the news around her testimony before U.S. Congress the following year—changed the course of my life into one of continuous questioning. Carson began a fifteen-year career in the federal service as a scientist and editor in 1936 before taking over as Editor-in-Chief of all publications for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In her free time, she converted her own research into lyrical prose in magazine articles and a series of books on ocean ecology. Her fame as a naturalist and science writer allowed her to resign from government in 1952 to devote herself to writing. Deeply held within all of Carson’s popular work was the view that human beings were but one part of nature distinguished primarily by their ability to CHALLENGE AND CHANGE Biologist Leslie Anthony on the women who influenced him BIO PHILIAC TOP Jane Goodall, 1965. Still from Brett Morgen's 2017 documentary Jane . MIDDLE 1962 first edition of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring . BOTTOM Rachel Carson. ALFRED EISENSTAEDT/GETTY IMAGES