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Statistical data and the history of women: a critique of Margaret Rossiter's women scientists in America: struggles and strategies to 1940

Kevles, Daniel J. (1983) Statistical data and the history of women: a critique of Margaret Rossiter's women scientists in America: struggles and strategies to 1940. Humanities Working Paper, 79. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20090915-103326214

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Abstract

Rossiter's book, based on a wide variety of sources, including numerous manuscript collections, is a goldmine of information. At its core is a statistical data base drawn from successive editions of American Men of Science. The book adds in a major way to our knowledge of its central subject. It also opens a window onto several little explored topics in the history of American science. However, Rossiter makes no standard tests of the significance of her valuable statistics. More important, she commits the major methodological sin of giving inadequate attention to alternative explanations of the numerical data. The result is that while Rossiter amply documents the considerable discrimination that women faced in the American scientific enterprise, she leaves cloudy the relative force of that discrimination compared to internalized cultural norms, marital and maternal obligations, and the like.


Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090915-103326214
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20090915-103326214
Official Citation:Kevles, Daniel J. Statistical data and the history of women: a critique of Margaret Rossiter's women scientists in America: struggles and strategies to 1940. Pasadena, CA: California Institute of Technology, 1983. Humanities Working Paper, No. 79.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:15853
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:22 Sep 2009 16:21
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 11:22

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