100 books like The Mind Has No Sex?

By Londa Schiebinger,

Here are 100 books that The Mind Has No Sex? fans have personally recommended if you like The Mind Has No Sex?. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum

Patricia Fara Author Of Life after Gravity: Isaac Newton's London Career

From my list on enlightenment science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and I’ve written several popular books as well as featuring in TV/radio programmes such as In Our Time and Start the Week (BBC). I love the challenge of explaining to general audiences why the history of science is such an exciting and important subject – far more difficult than writing an academic paper. I believe that studying the past is crucial for understanding how we’ve reached the present – and the whole point of doing that is to improve the future. My underlying preoccupations involve exploring how and why western science has developed over the last few centuries to become the dominant (and male-dominated) culture throughout the world.

Patricia's book list on enlightenment science

Patricia Fara Why did Patricia love this book?

James Delbourgo’s book shows that history matters. As the founder of London’s British Museum, Sir Hans Sloane has always played an important part in displaying our national heritage, and Delbourgo’s book explores the wondrousness of the artifacts he amassed from all over the world. But it also reveals how his wealth, fame, and success depended on the international trade in enslaved peoples during the eighteenth century. Sloane’s statue has not been destroyed, but it no longer stands prominently in the Museum’s entrance hall. Like Delbourgo, I believe we need to examine and confront the deeds of previous generations, and his book appeared while I was grappling with similar dilemmas about Sloane’s predecessor as President of the Royal Society, Sir Isaac Newton.

By James Delbourgo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Collecting the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Leo Gershoy Award
Winner of the Louis Gottschalk Prize
A Times Book of the Week
A Guardian Book of the Week

"A wonderfully intelligent book."
-Linda Colley

"A superb biography-humane, judicious and as passionately curious as Sloane himself."
-Times Literary Supplement

When the British Museum opened its doors in 1759, it was the first free national public museum in the world. Collecting the World tells the story of the eccentric collector whose thirst for universal knowledge brought it into being.

A man of insatiable curiosity and wide-ranging interests, Hans Sloane assembled a collection of antiquities, oddities, and…


Book cover of The Lunar Men: A Story of Science, Art, Invention and Passion

Nicholas Hudson Author Of A Political Biography of Samuel Johnson

From my list on why the Enlightenment is the beginning of the modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher and writer, I am a passionate believer in the ideals of the Enlightenment. In my understanding of these ideals, they include a belief in reason and honest inquiry in the service of humanity. More and more we need these ideals against bigotry, self-delusion, greed, and cruelty. The books recommended here are among those that helped to inspire me with continued faith in the progress of the human species and our responsibility to help each other and the world we live in.

Nicholas' book list on why the Enlightenment is the beginning of the modern world

Nicholas Hudson Why did Nicholas love this book?

What really attracted to me about this book was Jenny Uglow’s ability to bring the eighteenth century alive in her biographies of five men – Josiah Wedgwood, Mathew Boulton, James Watt, Eramus Darwin, and Joseph Priestley – who met every month near Birmingham when the moon was full (so that they could see their way home).

These men genuinely transformed the world with their discoveries that created and powered the first factories and revolutionized our understanding of the natural and chemical worlds. For some reason I always remember Uglow’s description of Wedgwood, who invented the process for mass producing china, being so scientifically curious that he insisted on sitting up to watch his own leg being amputated.

This book is a wonderful, personal introduction to the English Enlightenment.

By Jenny Uglow,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Lunar Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1760s a group of amateur experimenters met and made friends in the English Midlands. Most came from humble families, all lived far from the center of things, but they were young and their optimism was boundless: together they would change the world. Among them were the ambitious toymaker Matthew Boulton and his partner James Watt, of steam-engine fame; the potter Josiah Wedgwood; the larger-than-life Erasmus Darwin, physician, poet, inventor, and theorist of evolution (a forerunner of his grandson Charles). Later came Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen and fighting radical.

With a small band of allies they formed the…


Book cover of Bodies Politic: Disease, Death, and Doctors in Britain, 1650-1900

Patricia Fara Author Of Life after Gravity: Isaac Newton's London Career

From my list on enlightenment science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and I’ve written several popular books as well as featuring in TV/radio programmes such as In Our Time and Start the Week (BBC). I love the challenge of explaining to general audiences why the history of science is such an exciting and important subject – far more difficult than writing an academic paper. I believe that studying the past is crucial for understanding how we’ve reached the present – and the whole point of doing that is to improve the future. My underlying preoccupations involve exploring how and why western science has developed over the last few centuries to become the dominant (and male-dominated) culture throughout the world.

Patricia's book list on enlightenment science

Patricia Fara Why did Patricia love this book?

After I decided to include this old favourite of mine, I discovered to my great delight that Bodies Politic is about to be reissued in paperback. Roy Porter was the most prolific, fluent and insightful academic I have ever been privileged to know, and decades ago, his lectures inspired me to recognise how much fun historical research can be. In my own work, I have focused strongly on images – not only in textbooks, but also in journals, art galleries and albums. As Porter expertly discusses, studying caricatures is immensely enjoyable but also invaluable for uncovering concealed controversies, which provide crucial indicators of what people really thought.

By Roy Porter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bodies Politic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a historical tour de force, Roy Porter takes a critical look at representations of the body in death, disease and health, and at images of the healing arts in Britain from the mid-seventeenth to the twentieth century. Porter's key assumptions are that the human body is the chief signifier and communicator of all manner of meanings religious, moral, political and medical and that pre-scientific medicine was an art which depended heavily on ritual, rhetoric and theatre. Porter argues that great symbolic weight was attached to contrasting conceptions of the healthy and diseased body, and that such ideas were mapped…


Book cover of The Ambiguous Frog: The Galvani-Volta Controversy on Animal Electricity

Patricia Fara Author Of Life after Gravity: Isaac Newton's London Career

From my list on enlightenment science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and I’ve written several popular books as well as featuring in TV/radio programmes such as In Our Time and Start the Week (BBC). I love the challenge of explaining to general audiences why the history of science is such an exciting and important subject – far more difficult than writing an academic paper. I believe that studying the past is crucial for understanding how we’ve reached the present – and the whole point of doing that is to improve the future. My underlying preoccupations involve exploring how and why western science has developed over the last few centuries to become the dominant (and male-dominated) culture throughout the world.

Patricia's book list on enlightenment science

Patricia Fara Why did Patricia love this book?

Electricity was by far the most popular science of the Enlightenment – ‘an Entertainment for Angels’, as one fictional young woman enthused. Marcello Pera’s slim book is delightfully written, but also philosophically profound. It surveys with great humour the diverse array of electrical devices, tricks and performances that were created as money-spinners in Europe’s rapidly commercialising society. But it also picks apart the confrontation between electricity’s two Italian figureheads: Luigi Galvani (who made frogs’ legs twitch) and Alessandro Volta (the Napoleonic devotee who introduced current electricity). These debates were not only about who was right, but also about how to win over converts and eliminate the opposition.

By Marcello Pera,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ambiguous Frog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How do ideas become accepted by the scientific community? How and why do scientists choose among empirically equivalent theories? In this pathbreaking book translated from the Italian, Marcello Pera addresses these questions by exploring the politics, rhetoric, scientific practices, and metaphysical assumptions that entered into the famous Galvani-Volta controversy of the late eighteenth century. This lively debate erupted when two scientists, each examining the muscle contractions of a dissected frog in contact with metal, came up with opposing but experimentally valid explanations of the phenomenon. Luigi Galvani, a doctor and physiologist, believed that he had discovered animal electricity (electrical body…


Book cover of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-And the New Research That's Rewriting the Story

Macaela Mackenzie Author Of Money, Power, Respect: How Women in Sports Are Shaping the Future of Feminism

From my list on explaining why the gender gap is bullsh*t.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a journalist, I write about women and power. I’ve written about everything from taboos in women’s health, to the importance of reproductive autonomy, to the ability of women athletes to shape culture. Across all of these subjects, my work is rooted in the desire to explore the factors that drive gender inequity and how we can create lasting cultural changes that will close the gap. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in writing over 2,500 stories, it’s that gender inequity—from the pay gap, to the motherhood penalty—always comes back to power. And to one group’s desire to keep it at all costs. 

Macaela's book list on explaining why the gender gap is bullsh*t

Macaela Mackenzie Why did Macaela love this book?

I love books that challenge me to question established systems and science writer Angela Saini does this with tour-de-force narrative skills in Inferior.

In this book, Saini examines how gender bias influences the scientific community, and critically, the research it produces. She dives right into the idea that men are thought to be superior, and challenges readers to go a level deeper in the debate about why men dominate. 

By Angela Saini,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Inferior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Inferior is more than just a book. It's a battle cry - and right now, it's having a galvanising effect on its core fanbase' Observer

Are women more nurturing than men?
Are men more promiscuous than women?
Are males the naturally dominant sex?
And can science give us an impartial answer to these questions?

Taking us on an eye-opening journey through science, Inferior challenges our preconceptions about men and women, investigating the ferocious gender wars that burn in biology, psychology and anthropology. Angela Saini revisits the landmark experiments that have informed our understanding, lays bare the problem of bias in…


Book cover of The Lie Tree

Clare Langley-Hawthorne Author Of Consequences of Sin

From my list on historical books to incorporate magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a history buff I am also fascinated by folklore and magic, and how it has influenced society during various time periods. I love discovering writers who seamlessly manage to present a parallel magical universe grounded in actual history or who manage to incorporate fantastical or magical elements into a historical novel. Over the last few years I’ve been increasingly drawn to exploring the philosophical, magical, and spiritual underpinnings of society as part of my historical research. Although my own published works to date have been straight historical fiction, my current work in progress is definitely veering into the speculative, alternative history realm. 

Clare's book list on historical books to incorporate magic

Clare Langley-Hawthorne Why did Clare love this book?

Although strictly speaking this is a children’s book, I absolutely loved it as an adult reader. It explores all my favorite themes – the role of women in society, the conflict between science and religion, the darker elements of humanity – all wrapped up in murder mystery with the wonderful fantastical premise of a tree that feeds on whispered lies and whose fruit (when eaten) imparts the deepest of truths. Honestly, this novel has it all – a windswept island, forbidden truths, hidden secrets, and a deeply flawed main female character battling against societal expectations in the mid-19th Century.

By Frances Hardinge,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lie Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy-a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men-but inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist a mystery: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She also knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. For one, she knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, she knows that he was murdered.

In pursuit of justice and revenge,…


Book cover of The Curie Society

Gina Rippon Author Of Gender and Our Brains: How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds

From my list on women’s science superpowers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a myth-busting feminist neuroscientist waging a campaign against the rigid gender stereotypes that govern so much of our lives and set so many onto unfulfilling paths. Seeing how often the brain gets dragged into explanations for gender gaps, I put my neuroscience hat on to check back through science and through history to find the truth behind the idea that female brains were different (aka inferior) and that their owners were therefore incompetent and incapable. What a myth! Nowhere does this play out more clearly than in the history of women in science, as shown by the books on this list. 

Gina's book list on women’s science superpowers

Gina Rippon Why did Gina love this book?

My other fiction offer is an amazing graphic novel that cleverly characterises scientist super powers. These take the form of three unashamedly nerdy girls who find themselves drawn into the activities of a mysterious secret society founded by Marie Curie – “a clandestine society where brilliant women could pursue the furthest reaches of their intellect”. Via wonderful graphics, we are taken on a roller-coaster ride through history and science, through the revelatory power of individual sciencey skills and the even greater power of team-working. All enhanced by accessible explanations of the science concepts embedded in the story - such a great way to learn about mathematical patterns or magnetic fields in fusion reactors or brain interface technology. Have fun!

By Janet Harvey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Curie Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A covert team of young women--members of the Curie society, an elite organization dedicated to women in STEM--undertake high-stakes missions to save the world. A selection of the 2022 Hal Clement Notable Young Adult Books List from the American Library Association.
685123

Created by: Heather Einhorn & Adam Staffaroni; Writer: Janet Harvey; Artist: Sonia Liao; Editor: Joan Hilty

An action-adventure original graphic novel, The Curie Society follows a team of young women recruited by an elite secret society--originally founded by Marie Curie--with the mission of supporting the most brilliant female scientists in the world. The heroines of the Curie Society…


Book cover of Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-And the World

Gina Rippon Author Of Gender and Our Brains: How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds

From my list on women’s science superpowers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a myth-busting feminist neuroscientist waging a campaign against the rigid gender stereotypes that govern so much of our lives and set so many onto unfulfilling paths. Seeing how often the brain gets dragged into explanations for gender gaps, I put my neuroscience hat on to check back through science and through history to find the truth behind the idea that female brains were different (aka inferior) and that their owners were therefore incompetent and incapable. What a myth! Nowhere does this play out more clearly than in the history of women in science, as shown by the books on this list. 

Gina's book list on women’s science superpowers

Gina Rippon Why did Gina love this book?

Just in case the overpowering message from my book choices is that the story of women in science has only been one of exclusion and dismissal, here is something of an antidote; 52 brief biographies of women who had a huge impact on their respective fields of science. It is true that their stories are made more powerful by the skillful reminders of science’s ever-present misogyny – Dorothy Hodgkin’s 1964 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was heralded by the newspaper headline “Nobel Prize for British Wife” – it also offers an optimistic take on how they overcame such obstacles.  In a field where the need for role models is supported by both brain and behavioural science, here is a cornucopia of taster tales to share with both current and future scientists (of any gender!). 

By Rachel Swaby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Headstrong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fifty-two inspiring and insightful profiles of history’s brightest female scientists.

“Rachel Swaby’s no-nonsense and needed Headstrong dynamically profiles historically overlooked female visionaries in science, technology, engineering, and math.”—Elle

In 2013, the New York Times published an obituary for Yvonne Brill. It began: “She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job, and took eight years off from work to raise three children.” It wasn’t until the second paragraph that readers discovered why the Times had devoted several hundred words to her life: Brill was a brilliant rocket scientist who invented a propulsion system to keep communications…


Book cover of Revolution in Science

Friedel Weinert Author Of Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud: Revolutions in the History and Philosophy of Science

From my list on scientific revolutions and their impact on the history of science.

Why am I passionate about this?

In an ideal world, I would have liked to be a cosmologist and a philosopher. But I became a philosopher with a passion for the history and philosophy of science. This has enabled me to kill two birds with one stone: I learn about the sciences that interest me (physics, evolutionary biology, political philosophy, and sociology), and I explore their philosophical consequences. My podcast, In the Beginning, there was…Philosophy is devoted to such topics.

Friedel's book list on scientific revolutions and their impact on the history of science

Friedel Weinert Why did Friedel love this book?

I appreciate this book because it provides an excellent historical overview of an important aspect of science, i.e., the occurrence of scientific revolutions from the 17th to the 20th century, and it does not include psychoanalysis.

Cohen’s book proposes an interesting "theory" of scientific revolutions which inspired me to develop a philosophical model of scientific revolutions, which I dubbed the "chain-of-reasoning" model.

Cohen was a renowned historian of science. His book is very well written and does not require technical knowledge of particular theories. It is very long but it can be studied selectively. 

By I. Bernard Cohen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Revolution in Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Only a scholar as rich in learning as I. Bernard Cohen could do justice to a theme so subtle and yet so grand. Spanning five centuries and virtually all of scientific endeavor, Revolution in Science traces the nuances that differentiate both scientific revolutions and human perceptions of them, weaving threads of detail from physics, mathematics, behaviorism, Freud, atomic physics, and even plate tectonics and molecular biology, into the larger fabric of intellectual history.

How did "revolution," a term from the physical sciences, meaning a turning again and implying permanence and recurrence-the cyclical succession of the seasons, the "revolutions" of the…


Book cover of The Scientific Revolution

K. Brad Wray Author Of Kuhn's Intellectual Path: Charting The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

From my list on science studies.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Denmark, I teach at the Center for Videnskabsstudier. “Videnskabsstudier” is often translated as Science Studies. It thus connotes a rather broad field, which includes philosophical, historical, and sociological studies of science. And the notion of “videnskab”, which is frequently translated as science is interpreted rather broadly, to include, in addition to the natural science, the social sciences, and the humanities, indeed, basically any field one might study at a university. In fact, my own research intersects with and is influenced by research in all these fields.

K.'s book list on science studies

K. Brad Wray Why did K. love this book?

Shapin makes the audacious claim that there never really was a scientific revolution in Early Modern Europe, despite the fact that “the scientific revolution” has been a central organizing idea in the history of science and the history of Western culture more generally.

His provocative book provides a useful and engaging assessment of the utility of the concept of “the scientific revolution” for making sense of developments in the history of science.  He challenges us to think about the place of radical changes in the history of science, and whether the claims scientists make about such changes are merely rhetorical constructions.

Despite Shapin’s arguments, I am inclined to think something very significant happened in the sciences in the 16th and 17th Centuries, something that deserves to be called “revolutionary”. But Shapin’s book will certainly make readers reflect on what they mean by scientific revolution.

By Steven Shapin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Scientific Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"There was no such thing as the Scientific Revolution, and this is a book about it." With this provocative and apparently paradoxical claim, Steven Shapin begins his bold vibrant exploration of early modern science. In this classic of science history, Shapin takes into account the culture - the variety of beliefs, practices, and influences - that in the 1600s shaped the origins of the modern scientific worldview.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the scientific revolution, the Age of Enlightenment, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the scientific revolution, the Age of Enlightenment, and presidential biography.

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