A few good women in science and engineering

After a l-o-o-n-g struggle, I have finally assembled illustrations of a few amazing women into a short book (less than 50 pages, so it is an easy read). Check it out on Amazon and tell your sons and daughters: http://www.amazon.com/few-good-women-science-engineering/dp/1516935179/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1440495043&sr=8-2&keywords=zeena+nackerdien+books

Women in Science and Engineering

Summary of my new book:

In a world where female contributions to pushing the frontiers of science and engineering are under-represented in education, a coloring book about innovations in which women played primary or secondary roles can inform the younger generation about the way in which these pioneers transformed the world. Portraits and accompanying sketches highlighting the discoveries that are associated with twenty seven female pathbreakers and their collaborators are shown in this manuscript. Among the unsung heroines are the African-American physicist, Kathryn Johnson, and the Hollywood actress and co-inventor of a method that laid the groundwork for wireless communications as we know it today. Children may also find the Curie mother-daughter partnership that enhanced our understanding of radioactivity informative and emblematic of what can be accomplished when different generations and genders collaborate to the benefit of society.

The interactive nature of coloring in the sketches and reading summaries will likely entice young minds to ponder the details behind each accomplishment. Pausing to color the images of Lise Meitner and Emmy Klieneberger-Nobel may jolt some young readers into thinking about the struggles women endured as scientists during the World War II years. Peer accolades may eventually come, but in some cases those prizes are made posthumously or in the twilight of a career, as in the case of Barbara McClintock, who eventually received her Nobel Prize for identifying “jumping genes” in her eighties.


The list of female scientists and engineers included in this book are: Emily Roebling, Sofya Kovalevskaya, Beatrix Potter, Marie Curie, Irene Joliot-Curie, Lise Meitner, Emmy Klieneberger-Nobel, Barbara McClintock, Hedy Lamarr, Rosalind Franklin, Shakuntala Devi, Roslyn Yalow, Kathryn Johnson, Jewel Plummer-Cobb. Wangari Maathai. Esther Lederberg, Stephanie Louise-Kwolek, Mary Andersen, Valentina Tereshkova Ada Yonath, Bonnie Bassler, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, Elisabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider, Lynn Margulis, Shirley Tilghman, May-Brit Moser.

The human spirit – story of a lung cancer survivor


The Hollies may have serenaded “The Air that I Breathe”, but polluted air can be detrimental to the lungs. According to Kurt Straif, head of The International Agency for Research on Cancer’s section that ranks carcinogens, the risk of cancer (depending on location and level of exposure) was found to be similar to that of breathing in second-hand tobacco smoke. Add air pollution to other known risk factors predisposing individuals to lung cancer, and one begins to understand some of the possible reasons why non-smokers such as Dana Reeve, activist and wife of Christopher Reeve, perished from this disease. Treatment strategies have been outlined by the American Lung Association and recent discoveries on ways to break through cancer’s shield have led to the development of promising immunotherapies for lung and other cancers.

However, these facts may provide little comfort to a patient diagnosed with an illness that accounts for about 27% of all cancer deaths (American Cancer Society). An initial shocked reaction may eventually be replaced by proactive participation in disease management, scouring the Internet for newsworthy clinical trial results, and cooperating with the FDA to create better treatments for lung cancer. Survivors may also seek social support online via sites such as cancer.im. On the other hand, they could channel their inner adventurers and ski to the North and South Poles.

Lung cancer survivor, Barbara Hillary, decided to defy the odds and undertook these arduous Arctic journeys in 2007 and 2011. Barbara’s preparations and trip to the North Pole were vividly recounted in a 2007 USA Today article. Successfully crossing the same regions as the polar adventurers, Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton, placed the retired African-American woman in a league of her own. Her tenacity in the face of medical challenges and age can serve as an inspiration to everyone.