Uneasy Careers and Intimate Lives
Women in Science, 1787-1979

Abir-Am, Pnina G., and Dorinda Outram, eds. Uneasy Careers and Intimate Lives: Women in Science, 1787-1979. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987. HSS-WS Award Winner.

ISBN 0-8135-1256-5
400 pp.

These pioneering studies of women in science pay special attention to the mutual impact of family life and scientific career. The contributors address five key themes: historical changes in such concepts as scientific career, profession, patronage, and family; differences in gender image associated with various branches of sciences; consequences of national differences and emigration; opportunities for scientific work opened or closed by marriage; and levels of women's awareness about the role of gender in science.

An international group of historians of science discuss a wide range of European and American women scientists, from early nineteenth-century English botanists to Marie Curie to the twentieth-century theoretical biologist, Dorinda Outram.


  1. Before Objectivity: Wives, Patronage, and Cultural Reproduction in Early Nineteenth-Century French Science (Dorinda Outram);
  2. Botany in the Breakfast Room: Women and Early Nineteenth-Century British Plant Study (Ann B. Shteir);
  3. The Many Faces of Intimacy: Professional Options and Personal Choices Among Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Women Physicians (Regina M. Morantz-Sanchez);
  4. Field Work and Family: North American Women Ornithologists, 1900-1950 (Marianne Gosztonyi Ainley);
  5. Nineteenth-Century American Women Botanists: Wives, Widows, and Work (Nancy G. Slack);
  6. Marital Collaboration: An Approach to Science (Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie);
  7. Maria Mitchell and the Advancement of Women in Science (Sally Gregory Kohlstedt);
  8. “Strangers to Each Other”: Male and Female Relationships in the Life and Work of Clemence Royer (Joy Harvey);
  9. Career and Home Life in the 1880s: The Choices of Mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaia (Ann Hibner Koblitz);
  10. Marie Curie's “Anti-natural Path”: Time Only for Science and Family (Helena M. Pycior);
  11. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: Astronomy in the Family (Peggy A. Kidwell);
  12. Synergy or Clash: Disciplinary and Marital Strategies in the Career of Mathematical Biologist Dorothy Wrinch (Pnina G. Abir-Am).