Professor Des Jardins Publishes The Madame Curie Complex

"The Madame Curie Complex" by Prof. Julie Des JardinsWhy are the fields of science and technology still considered to be predominantly male professions? The Madame Curie Complex moves beyond the most common explanations—limited access to professional training, lack of resources, exclusion from social networks of men—to give historical context and unexpected revelations about women's contributions to the sciences.

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Exploring the lives of Jane Goodall, Rosalind Franklin, Rosalyn Yalow, Barbara McClintock, Rachel Carson, and the women of the Manhattan Project, Julie Des Jardins considers their personal and professional stories in relation to their male counterparts—Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi—to demonstrate how the gendered culture of science molds the methods, structure, and experience of the work.

With lively anecdotes and vivid detail, The Madame Curie Complex reveals how women scientists have often asked different questions, used different methods, come up with different explanations for phenomena in the natural world, and how they have forever transformed a scientist's role. (text from

 Prof. Julie Des JardinsJULIE DES JARDINS writes on gender and American women. Previously, she was a lecturer at Harvard University, where she was awarded the Alan Heimert Prize for Seminar Teaching. Des Jardins has a Ph.D. in American history from Brown University and has taught the history of gender, race, and feminism since 2000. 


The City University of New York