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Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story Hardcover – May 30 2017
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“A brilliant approach to a long overlooked topic, Inferior is impossible to ignore and invaluable.”
“The Enlightenment brought revolutions in science, philosophy and art while ushering in respect for human reason over religious faith. But the era also created a narrative about women—that they are intellectually inferior to men. Indeed, science itself is an establishment rooted in exclusion, writes science journalist Saini, citing a long history of unrecognized achievement by women scientists: Lise Meitner, Rosalind Franklin and Emmy Noether, to name a few. The process of science is also riddled with inherent biases that have done nothing to improve society’s views of women. Neurosexism, for example, is a term that describes scientific studies that fall back on gender stereotypes. New science and awareness are overturning a great deal of flawed thinking, as Saini shows, but there is still a long way to go.”
—Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American
“In this smart, balanced, and wonderfully readable book, Angela Saini breaks the vicious cycle by which women, having been excluded from the sciences by men who assumed them to be inferior, were judged by those same male scientists to be inferior. Study by study, she objectively reexamines what we think we know about the supposed differences between the sexes. If you have ever been shouted down by a male colleague who insists that science has proven women to be biologically inferior to men, here are the arguments you need to demonstrate that he doesn’t know what he is talking about.”
—Eileen Pollack, author of The Only Woman in the Room
“Angela Saini’s Inferior proves the opposite of its title. It is a lively, well-written, informed account of women’s proven powers. She shows that science, long used as a weapon against women, is today an ally in their steady advance. Inferior is another nail in the coffin of male supremacy.”
—Melvin Konner, author of Women After All
“This is an important book that I hope will be widely read. Any time biases are identified and corrected for, it is science and policymaking rather than feminism or any particular ideology that comes out ahead.”
—Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, author of The Woman That Never Evolved, Mother Nature, and Mothers and Others
About the Author
Angela Saini is an award-winning science journalist whose print and broadcast work has appeared on the BBC and in the Guardian, New Scientist, Wired, the Economist, and Science. A former Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, she won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Kavli Science Journalism gold award in 2015. Saini has a master’s in engineering from Oxford University, and she is the author of Geek Nation: How Indian Science Is Taking Over the World.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Inferior is worth reading if you're very interested in the topic, especially because if offers a lengthy list of examples and references that you can follow up on yourself if you want to uncover the full story.
The research and citations were excellent, with plenty of anecdotes, examples and quotes to support the author's points but presented in such a way that the book was fun to read - it's clearly biased in favour of women not being the inferior 50% of our species, but is that a bad thing?
For what is actually pretty dense and contentious subject matter, I found this book really easy to read and enjoyable.
Possibly my favourite chapter was the last - exploring the evolutionary purpose of the menopause. It shocked me to learn how little interest or research there was in the menopause until pharmaceutical companies they could make money off 'treating' it in the 20th century.
I loved this book and will recommend it to all my friends with an interest in science and gender equality- it's fascinating and informative, but the author hasn't climbed up on a soapbox to write it so it doesn't light my feminist fuse with all the outdated research on why women should stay in the home.