Saturday, February 29, 2020

Changing the Equation: 50+ US Black Women in STEM

People have different strengths and ways of problem solving. That is one reason that diversity in any workplace is a positive and productive thing. Especially where rigorous critical thinking skills are driving scientific and technological discovery it's more important than ever to have creative and diverse minds tackling society's ever more disastrous problems. STEM is critically important and is one area which has traditionally been male dominated. Changing the Equation is a collection of profiles and short biographies of women of color representing different fields of science in the USA. Due out 3rd March from Abrams, it's 208 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.

This is an interesting and informative collection of women of color who were unbelievable trail-blazers in some cases, impressive in all cases who defied tradition, prejudice, and powerful opposition to become notable in their chosen fields of study. The book includes doctors, inventors, educators, mathematicians, veterinarians, engineers, geochemists, data and computer experts, and even a video game developer.

As women in technological fields (I'm a bioengineer), we've been subjected from birth on to constant subtle universal conditioning that math is *hard*, science is for boys, and we should choose something more ladylike to pursue. I really believe that's changing (oh so slowly), but it's really nice to see a real representation of women, and especially women of color, excelling at these traditionally male-dominated professions.

There's room for everyone. We have a critical need for creative, smart, solution oriented, curious, persevering scientists now more than ever. We need books which can show young people that they CAN pursue an education in STEM careers.

This would make a superlative classroom or library book. It would also make a great gift for any young person. These are well written biographies and well worth a read. Despite being a huge science nerd myself, there were a number of these women who were unfamiliar to me. I enjoyed reading this myself and I can think back when I was 12 or 13 and determined to pursue a career in science that I would have been ecstatic to find this book.

Five stars. Well done and appropriate for *anyone*.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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