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{ "item_title" : "The Exceptions", "item_author" : [" Kate Zernike "], "item_description" : "A New York Times Notable Book As late as 1999, women who succeeded in science were called exceptional as if it were unusual for them to be so bright. They were exceptional, not because they could succeed at science but because of all they accomplished despite the hurdles. Gripping...one puts down the book inspired by the women's grit, tenacity, and brilliance. --Science Riveting. --Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Gene In 1963, a female student was attending a lecture given by Nobel Prize winner James Watson, then tenured at Harvard. At nineteen, she was struggling to define her future. She had given herself just ten years to fulfill her professional ambitions before starting the family she was expected to have. For women at that time, a future on the usual path of academic science was unimaginable--but during that lecture, young Nancy Hopkins fell in love with the promise of genetics. Confidently believing science to be a pure meritocracy, she embarked on a career. In 1999, Hopkins, now a noted molecular geneticist and cancer researcher at MIT, divorced and childless, found herself underpaid and denied the credit and resources given to men of lesser rank. Galvanized by the flagrant favoritism, Hopkins led a group of sixteen women on the faculty in a campaign that prompted MIT to make the historic admission that it had long discriminated against its female scientists. The sixteen women were a formidable group: their work has advanced our understanding of everything from cancer to geology, from fossil fuels to the inner workings of the human brain. And their work to highlight what they called 21st-century discrimination--a subtle, stubborn, often unconscious bias--set off a national reckoning with the pervasive sexism in science. From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who broke the story, The Exceptions chronicles groundbreaking science and a history-making fight for equal opportunity. It is the excellent and infuriating (The New York Times) story of how this group of determined, brilliant women used the power of the collective and the tools of science to inspire ongoing radical change. And it offers an intimate look at the passion that drives discovery, and a rare glimpse into the competitive, hierarchical world of elite science--and the women who dared to challenge it.", "item_img_path" : "https://covers3.booksamillion.com/covers/bam/1/98/213/183/1982131837_b.jpg", "price_data" : { "retail_price" : "30.00", "online_price" : "30.00", "our_price" : "30.00", "club_price" : "30.00", "savings_pct" : "0", "savings_amt" : "0.00", "club_savings_pct" : "0", "club_savings_amt" : "0.00", "discount_pct" : "10", "store_price" : "30.00" } }
The Exceptions|Kate Zernike
The Exceptions : Nancy Hopkins, Mit, and the Fight for Women in Science
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Overview

A New York Times Notable Book

As late as 1999, women who succeeded in science were called "exceptional" as if it were unusual for them to be so bright. They were exceptional, not because they could succeed at science but because of all they accomplished despite the hurdles.

"Gripping...one puts down the book inspired by the women's grit, tenacity, and brilliance." --Science
"Riveting." --Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Gene

In 1963, a female student was attending a lecture given by Nobel Prize winner James Watson, then tenured at Harvard. At nineteen, she was struggling to define her future. She had given herself just ten years to fulfill her professional ambitions before starting the family she was expected to have. For women at that time, a future on the usual path of academic science was unimaginable--but during that lecture, young Nancy Hopkins fell in love with the promise of genetics. Confidently believing science to be a pure meritocracy, she embarked on a career.

In 1999, Hopkins, now a noted molecular geneticist and cancer researcher at MIT, divorced and childless, found herself underpaid and denied the credit and resources given to men of lesser rank. Galvanized by the flagrant favoritism, Hopkins led a group of sixteen women on the faculty in a campaign that prompted MIT to make the historic admission that it had long discriminated against its female scientists. The sixteen women were a formidable group: their work has advanced our understanding of everything from cancer to geology, from fossil fuels to the inner workings of the human brain. And their work to highlight what they called "21st-century discrimination"--a subtle, stubborn, often unconscious bias--set off a national reckoning with the pervasive sexism in science.

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who broke the story, The Exceptions chronicles groundbreaking science and a history-making fight for equal opportunity. It is the "excellent and infuriating" (The New York Times) story of how this group of determined, brilliant women used the power of the collective and the tools of science to inspire ongoing radical change. And it offers an intimate look at the passion that drives discovery, and a rare glimpse into the competitive, hierarchical world of elite science--and the women who dared to challenge it.

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781982131838
  • ISBN-10: 1982131837
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: February 2023
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.35 pounds
  • Page Count: 432

Related Categories

In 1999, author Kate Zernike, then a reporter for The Boston Globe, broke an enormous story: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology had admitted to a long-standing pattern of discrimination against women on its faculty. Zernike, now a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, tells the full inspiring story in The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the Fight for Women in Science. Zernike begins by focusing on molecular biologist Nancy Hopkins’ life and career path. In the spring of 1963, Hopkins, a Radcliffe junior, became so enthralled by a Harvard lecture on DNA by Nobel Prize winner James Watson that she sought work in his molecular biology lab. But like other women then and now, Hopkins faced difficult choices as she weighed the demands of science against marriage and potential motherhood. Zernike situates the tensions that led to the end of Hopkins’ first marriage within the broader context of the women’s movement of the 1960s. Eventually Hopkins earned her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1971, and by 1973, she had accepted a position at MIT’s Center for Cancer Research. While the biographical sections are intriguing, Zernike’s narrative picks up speed in the later portions of the book, which delve into the ways male colleagues appropriated Hopkins’ work and used it for financial gain. By the 1990s, Hopkins realized that “a woman’s work would never be valued as highly as a man’s. It had taken her twenty years to see it—she’d understood it about other women before she’d realized it was true for her, too.” Hopkins’ revelation led her to reach out to female colleagues, resulting in a letter by 16 women at MIT compiling evidence of discrimination, including unequal access to research resources and pay. The women spent the next four years doing fact-finding as a committee, and by March of 1999, they had compiled a report. Although it was only scheduled to appear in a faculty newsletter, news of the report reached Zernike’s ears—and when Zernike’s article appeared on the front page of the Globe, the story took off. Hopkins arrived on campus the next day to camera crews, and she received emails from women across the world. Overnight, MIT became a “pacesetter for promoting gender equality,” and other universities soon undertook similar efforts to examine their biases. Zernike closes her narrative with updates on Hopkins’ continued successful career, short bios of the 16 women who signed the original letter and an examination of the progress for women in academia—and the work still to be done. These women’s efforts—and the subsequent impact this revelation had for women across academia—make for a gripping, page-turning read.

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