Jessy Randall's poems about women in math and science
updated January 2021

First Scientist (? - ?) forthcoming in Analog
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673)
Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)
Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749) in Escape into Life
Laura Bassi (1711-1778)
Anna Morandi Manzolini (1716-1774)
Maria Gaetana, the Witch of Agnesi (1718-1799) in Redheaded Stepchild
Jane Colden (1724-1766)
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) in Poetry Northwest
Wang Zhenyi (1769-1797) in Escape into Life
Marie Germain (1776-1831)
Mary Somerville (1780-1872)
James Miranda Barry / Margaret Ann Bulkley (ca. 1789-1865) in Escape into Life
Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps (1793-1884)
Mary Anning (1799-1847) in Escape into Life
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) in Escape into Life
Eunice Newton Foote (1819-1888)
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) 1: Zuzu's Petals, Injecting Dreams into Cows; 2: LCRW; 3: Sendecki
Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz (1822-1907) forthcoming in Scientific American
Rachel Bodley (1831-1888)
Mary Treat (1830-1923) forthcoming in Ethel
Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831-1895) forthcoming in Women's Review of Books
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917)
Ellen H. Swallow Richards (1842-1911) forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine
Emily Roebling (1803-1903) in Dreams and Nightmares
Sarah Frances Whiting (1847-1927)
Bertha Benz (1849-1944) forthcoming in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet
Ellen Amanda Hayes (1851-1930) in Diode
Hertha Ayrton (1854-1923) in Analog plus online interview about the project
Elizabeth Lee Hazen (1855-1975)
Charlotte Angas Scott (1858-1931) in Escape into Life
Alice Eastwood (1859-1953) in Escape into Life
Alicia Boole Stott (1860-1940)
Nettie Stevens (1861-1912)
Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941) in Asimov's, Colorado Encyclopedia, and Dwarf Stars
Anna Wessels Williams (1863-1954)
Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Mary Agnes Chase (1869-1963) in Strange Horizons (with audio)
Maud Slye (1869-1954) in Poetry Northwest
Lillian Gilbreth (1878-1972)
Lise Meitner (1878-1968)
Agnes Arber (1879-1960) in Escape into Life
Emmy Noether (1882-1935)
Margaret Morse Nice (1883-1974)
Libbie Henrietta Hyman (1888-1969) forthcoming in Women's Review of Books
Alice Ball (1892-1916)
Hilda Geiringer von Mises (1893-1973) in Diode
Gerty Cori (1896-1957)
Joan Beauchamp Procter (1897-1931) in The Mom Egg
Rachel Fuller Brown (1898-1980)
Helen Taussig (1898-1986) forthcoming in Asimov's
Charlotte Auerbach (1899-1994)
Honor Fell (1900-1986) in Escape into Life
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900-1979)
Nina Karlovna Bari (1901-1961) in Strange Horizons
Barbara McClintock (1902-1992)
Mina Rees (1902-1997)
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (1906-1992)
Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972)
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) forthcoming in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet
Frances Hamerstrom (1907-1998) forthcoming in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet
Virginia Apgar (1909-1974) in Diode
Effie Stroud (1909-1994)
Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909-2012)
Laura Hunter Colwin (1911-2006) in Escape into Life
Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) in Escape into Life
Dorothy Bernstein (1914-1988)
Frances Oldham Kelsey (1914-2015)
Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
Marie Tharp (1920-2006) forthcoming in Women's Review of Books
Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat (b. 1923)
Jewel Isadora Plummer Cobb (1924-2017)
Evelyn Boyd Granville (b. 1924) in Pink Panther
Mary Ellen Rudin (1924-2013) in Escape into Life
Margaret Kivelson (b. 1928)
Mildred Dresselhaus (1930-2017)
Jane Goodall (b. 1934) in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change
Raye Montague (1935-2018) in Zocalo Public Square
Jocelyn Bell Burnell (b. 1943) forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine
Maryam Mirzakhani (1977-2017) in Analog

works consulted

Agassiz, Elizabeth C. and Alexander Agassiz. Seaside Studies in Natural History. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1865.
Byers, Nina and Gary Williams. Out of the Shadows: Contributions of Twentieth-Century Women to Physics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006..
Crumpler, Rebecca. A Book of Medical Discourses. Boston: Cashman, Keating, 1883.
des Jardins, Julie. The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science. New York: Feminist Press, 2010.
Felt, Hali. Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor. New York: Picador, 2012.
Ignatofsky, Rachel. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2016.
Lee, Jane J. 6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism. National Geographic News, May 19, 2013.
Polo-Blanco, Irene. “Alicia Boole Stott, a Geometer in Higher Dimension.” Historia Mathematica, Volume 35, Issue 2, May 2008, pages 123-139.
Richards, Ellen Swallow. Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning. Boston: Home Science Publishing Co., 1897, c. 1881.
Rossiter, Margaret W. Women Scientists in America: Struggles and Strategies to 1940. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1982.
Swaby, Rachel. Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and the World. New York: Broadway Books, 2015.
Swaby, Rachel. Trailblazers: 33 Women in Science Who Changed the World. New York: Delacorte Press, 2016.
Tsjeng, Zing. Forgotten Women: The Scientists. London: Cassell, 2018.
Whiting, Sarah Frances. Daytime and Evening Exercises in Astronomy, for Schools and Colleges. Boston: Ginn, 1912.
Women in Chemistry and Physics: A Biobibliographic Sourcebook. Ed. Louise S. Grinstein, Rose K. Rose, and Miriam H. Rafailovich. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993.
Women in the Biological Sciences: A Biobibliographic Sourcebook. Ed. Louise S. Grinstein, Carol A. Biermann, Rose K. Rose. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997.
Women of Mathematics: A Biobibliographic Sourcebook. Ed. Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell. New York: Greenwood, 1987.


Thank you, Barbara Whitten, Colorado College Physics / Feminist and Gender Studies, for your 2015 talk on Sarah Frances Whiting, which was the seed for this series of poems.

Thank you, Rebecca Barnes, Colorado College Environmental Studies, for your ongoing work on women in science, particularly the Women in STEM Wikipedia Biographies project with CC students.

Thank you to everyone who suggested subjects for poems: Marianne Reddin Aldrich, Melissa Penwell Belanger, Aage Bendiksen, Anna Primrose Bendiksen, Janice Frankel Block, Amy Brooks, Inge-Marie Eigsti, Paul Erickson, Celia Gresham, Jennifer Gresham, Nicole Gresham, Ross Gresham, Kris Kanthak, Anju Kanumalla, Terry Kind, Kathleen Kirk, Sandra Knauf, Rebecca Laroche, Lisa Lister, Phoebe Lostroh, Eva Lovell, Norah McCormick, Heather McHale, Sarah Milteer, Katherine Randall, Alan Simon, Maxine Simon, Steve Simon, Robert Stoesen, David Weinstock, Anna Wermuth, Barbara Whitten, Dina Wood.


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