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Authors Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures) and Dava Sobel (The Glass Universe) discuss their new books and careers as female historians as well as the impact they hope their work has, both in print and film adaptations.
The authors’ new books share the accomplishments of unsung women mathematicians and scientists—”human computers”—working with NASA and the Harvard College Observatory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Historically austere at times yet evocatively personal at others, these are the true-life tales of the women who helped achieve some of America’s greatest work in our understanding of the stars and our exploration of space.
Why should you attend?
“Shetterly moves gracefully between the women’s lives and the broader sweep of history . . . Shetterly, who grew up in Hampton, blends impressive research with an enormous amount of heart in telling these stories.”—Boston Globe
“[Sobel] soars higher than ever before…[continuing] her streak of luminous science writing with this fascinating, witty, and most elegant history…The Glass Universe is a feast for those eager to absorb forgotten stories of resolute American women who expanded human knowledge.”—Booklist, Starred Review
“Throughout both books I was struck by the obviousness of the importance of work, either domestic or professional—the importance of contributing, of choosing a destiny, of being good at something, of participating in history, and the enraging pointlessness of small-minded repressions of a soaring and generous human urge. The women scientists of The Glass Universe and Hidden Figures were affected by external social pressures… [but] they transcended those forces to commune with space, and thereby redefined themselves and those around them. The authors of these two fine books help us understand the socially transformative power of a defiant dedication to something greater than our mundane human predicament.”—The New York Times