Resource Roundup - History of Women in STEM

So you want to learn more about the history of women in STEM - where do you begin? Apart from the Femmes of STEM website of course, there are resources both in print and online to continue exploring not just biographies of women in STEM, but the actual history of science and womens place in it. We'll be publishing a solid reading reccomendation / Femmes of STEM bibliography soon (check back the link) but we get it, not everyone has time to pick up twenty new books about the history of science. So - how about some bit sized intros to begin with?

While there are a few peer-reviewed journals dedicated to womens studies and the history of science, there isn't yet one dedicated to the intersection of the two. A good place to start, however is with Signs, the Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Their website Signs at 40 was created for their 40th anniversary and breaks down their articles in special sections dedicated to specific areas of study - like science. These articles reflect the state of feminist science studies from 1975 to 2014, including works by feminist philosophers of science like Evelyn Fox Keller, Sandra Harding, and Banu Subramaniam. A great article to start with is Londa Schiebinger's 1987 review essay on The History and Philosophy of Women in Science.

Similarly, while some women's studies journals have special science editions, some history of science journals have special editions dedicated to women in their field. In 2007, for example, The Geological Society of London released a special publication titled The Role of Women in the History of Geology. The edition includes not just biographies of women in the field, but articles examining how women played a role in the development of the field and historical barriers existing that prevented more women from joining the field.

If journals seem a bit daunting, online blogs and magazines like Nursing Clio and Lady Science are great places to start, and following twitter hashtags like #histmed and #histsci will provide even more bite sized information bits (+ links to new sources).




Academic Publications


  • Bray, F. (1997). Technology and gender: Fabrics of power in late imperial China. Univ of California Press.
  • Julie, D. (2010). The Madame Curie complex: The hidden history of women in science. The Feminist Press at CUNY.
  • Layne, M. E. (Ed.). (2009). Women in engineering: Pioneers and trailblazers. ASCE Publications.
  • Stanley, A. (1995). Mothers and daughters of invention: Notes for a revised history of technology. Rutgers University Press.
  • Swanson, N. L. (2004). Avenging Agnodice: The struggles and successes of female scientists, antiquity to present. ImprintBooks. com.