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The Remarkable Life and Career of Ellen Swallow Richards: Pioneer in Science and Technology Hardcover – 15 Aug 2014

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From the Back Cover

The Woman Who Paved the Way for Ecology, Euthenics and Women to Enter Numerous Fields of Science

In March 2009, in launching Women′s History Month, U.S. President Barack Obama honored five "Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet." His first tribute was to Ellen Swallow Richards (1842–1911), who is known as the first woman accepted at a scientific institution and to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873. Richards left behind a legacy of pioneering new branches of science, championing efforts for a cleaner environment, and opening doors for women to enter disciplines previously believed to be the domain of men.

Taking the reader from Richards childhood on a Massachusetts farm where she was home–schooled, to her internationally renowned successes in the sciences, The Remarkable Life and Career of Ellen Swallow Richards:Pioneer in Science and Technology highlights the achievements of America′s first professional, degreed female scientist. Of her many achievements, the book covers Richards research in water studies that led to the nation s first state water–quality standards and first modern sewage treatment plant; her development of the Normal Chlorine Map, the first map of water pollution in the United States; her food testing project that resulted in discovery of countless contaminations and led to the first food and drug acts; coinage of the terms ecology and euthenics, her career at MIT as the only female instructor, and more.

In a time when the field of science and technology was not fashionable for women prospects, Ellen Swallow Richards paved the way for women to become chemists, biologists, geologists, ecologists, nutritionists, dietitians, science teachers, professors, and home economists. MIT reports today that women make up nearly half its student body and more than 200 in faculty members. This biographical story of Ellen Swallow Richards is invaluable for schools, colleges, and libraries searching for more books about women who broke academic and social barriers with their determination and successes.

About the Author

Pamela Curtis Swallow received her B.A. at Skidmore College, NYU and her MLIS at Rutgers University School of Library and Information Science. Formerly a school librarian, English teacher and History teacher, she is a full time writer and author of ten published books of fiction and non–fiction. Swallow is Ellen Swallow Richards′s first cousin,three generations removed.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Renaissance woman of 1900 13 Aug. 2014
By Louise R. Romanow - Published on
Format: Hardcover
What an engaging book!
This biography, complete with many photos, is a fast-paced true story of a woman that anyone would love to emulate. Ellen was brilliant, inspired and indefatigable, and her belief that she could accomplish whatever she put her mind to -- and did it-- will inspire every reader to believe in her or himself and their vision to improve the world. Swallow Richards' mark is everywhere, incorporated into our lives just as Shakespeare's phases still persist today. Ecology, nutrition, home economics, water and air quality, industry's responsibility for the pollutants it produces, and so many issues relevant today were her brain children.

At a time when education was thought to ruin women's health, Ellen charged ahead, working to save money to go to Vassar, the first women's college teaching science in the US, entering as a third year student, then moving on to MIT where she was their 'experiment', not actually enrolled. She earned a BS and MS there, but sadly, MIT never granted the doctorate she earned, reluctant to give it to a woman. Soon she created (and found funding for) The Woman's Laboratory in an unused MIT building, doing the work gratis, training other women in chemistry and other fields. (Men soon wanted to join her well taught courses, and the program was then incorporated into the MIT curriculum where she was the first woman teaching science at MIT.) She then founded what became Woods Hole Marine Biological Institute, while maintaining a correspondence course for women and their families around the US who were interested in learning about their environment.
Ellen's story shows that you, and we, can make a difference -- if we have determination and zeal.
Glad to have stumbled onto this book.. 26 Sept. 2014
By Marcus - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I love to read about interesting women who change the world and shape our lives. This was one I had never heard of. I'm so glad to have stumbled onto this book and in so doing discovered the important work that Ellen Swallow did in her lifetime. The book is written in a very lively and interesting style and I learned so much not only about the woman, but about the times she lived in. It's an uplifting story about a talented woman who was constantly challenged in a man's world, but even relegated to the basement of MIT she did not give up! I also thought it interesting that the author was related to her. Talent must run in the Swallow family. A great read,,..
What a gal! 6 Sept. 2014
By Sally Keehn - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am so glad that this book on Ellen Swallow Richards has finally come out! What a remarkable woman she was. She overcame so many obstacles to accomplish what she did - paving the way for women to excel in the fields of science, including ecology (which she essentially founded), public health and home economics. She was the first professionally degreed woman scientist in the United States! What a gal! She is an inspiration to us all - as is Pam Swallow's well-written and informative biography. Highly recommended.
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