one book each—about inspiring women and fascinating science

The movie Hidden Figures is just wonderful—funny, frustrating, uplifting, beautiful—the full cinematic experience!  But the book covers so much more (naturally). Here’s a clip of author Margot Lee Shetterly talking to one of Dorothy Vaughn’s* grandchildren. She talks about the movie and the other parts of the book.

Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition is wonderful too—great for family reading. It’s so nice to have a shared reading experience, especially when it inspires talk about excellence, civil rights, science, history and determination.

While you wait for your copies to arrive you might like to watch this 2011 interview with Katherine Johnson, one of the women portrayed in the movie and written about in the book. (It’s 26 minutes long and so interesting.) Here’s what Ms Johnson says about teaching:

I never have taught answers, I teach you what the problem is, how to attack it, if you attack it properly you’ll get the answer … I think it’s important that you learn the background of what you’re working on and how to do it, and you’ll get the right answer. If you don’t get it the first time, you’ll get it the second time.”

That’s true of every field, not just maths, don’t you think?

* In case you haven’t seen the movie yet, the three female leads play Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Goble Johnson who were all part of the NASA space program in the 1960’s.

A couple of other books that might grab your attention:

The Glass Universe is a parallel story to Hidden Figures— this one tells the story of women working at the Harvard Observatory. It's available in print or audio and was published in December 2016.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World is a gorgeously illustrated book for the younger set with individual sections for some amazing female scientists including Katherine Johnson. Published July 2016.