Monday, Oct. 29 at 7:00 pm in Olin 01

Perspectives on Women in Science

Amy Sue Bix, Iowa State University

One of the most distinctive developments in American science and engineering during the last fifty years isn’t any specific discovery or invention. Instead, this revolution involves something even more fundamental, re-envisioning ideas about who can and should become an engineer or scientist. This talk explores that transformation, reviewing the history of when, how, and why women gained access to U.S. science and engineering from the late 1800s onward. Today, gender and diversity issues make headline news, highlighting questions about who’s encouraged to enter and work in STEM, why, and on what terms.

AMY SUE BIX is Professor of History at Iowa State University and director of ISU’s Center for Historical Studies of Technology and Science. Her 2013 book ‘Girls Coming to Tech!’: A History of American Engineering Education for Women (MIT Press) won the 2015 Margaret Rossiter Prize from the History of Science Society. Bix’s work on gender and engineering history received two other prizes: 2015’s IEEE-USA Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Public Understanding and the Advancement of the Engineering Profession, and the 2014 Betty Vetter Award for Research from WEPAN (the Women in Engineering ProActive Network).  This scholarship provides the foundation for her new book in progress, Recruiting Engineer Jane and Astrophysicist Amy: American STEM Advocacy for Girls, 1965-2015. Bix has written widely on many topics in the history of science, technology, and medicine, including her book Inventing Ourselves Out of Jobs?: America’s Debate over Technological Unemployment, 1929-1981 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) and The Future is Now: Science and Technology Policy in America Since 1950,  co-authored with Alan Marcus (Humanity Books/Prometheus Press, 2007).