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Books About Women in Science

Women belong everywhere, including in the lab.

Below are a few books that celebrate women who have succeeded in different fields in science.

  1. 1


    Acclaimed science writer Angela Saini weaves together a fascinating—and sorely necessary—new science of women. As Saini takes readers on a journey to uncover science’s failure to understand women, she finds that we’re still living with the legacy of an establishment that’s just beginning to recover from centuries of entrenched exclusion and prejudice.

    Inferior Book Cover Picture
  2. 2

    Broad Band

    If you loved Hidden Figures or The Rise of the Rocket Girls, you’ll love Claire Evans’ breakthrough book on the women who brought you the internet–written out of history, until now.

    Broad Band Book Cover Picture
  3. 3


    Figuring explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries—beginning with the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion, and ending with the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson, who catalyzed the environmental movement.

    Figuring Book Cover Picture
  4. 4

    Alpha Girls

    Alpha Girls is the unforgettable story of four women who came to California to try to make it in a world stacked against them. Through grit and ingenuity, the women became stars in cutthroat, high-stakes, male dominated Silicon Valley and helped build some of the most important companies of our day. They were written out of history – until now.

    Alpha Girls Book Cover Picture
  5. 5

    How the Universe Got Its Spots

    In this book, the gifted young cosmologist Janna Levin establishes herself as one of the most direct and unorthodox voices in contemporary science. Levin gives us an intimate look at the day-to-day life of a globe-trotting physicist, complete with jet lag and romantic disturbances.

    How the Universe Got Its Spots Book Cover Picture
  6. 6

    The Glass Universe

    The Glass Universe Book Cover Picture
  7. 7


    Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our every day, Rachel Swaby’s vibrant profiles span centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each one’s ideas developed, from their first moment of scientific engagement through the research and discovery for which they’re best known.

    Headstrong Book Cover Picture
  8. 8

    The Secret Lives of Codebreakers

    The Secret Lives of Codebreakers Book Cover Picture
  9. 9

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This phenomenal bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Movie Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture
  10. 10

    Weapons of Math Destruction

    Tracing the arc of a person’s life, Cathy O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health.

    Weapons of Math Destruction Book Cover Picture
  11. 11

    Women in Science

    Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more.

    Women in Science Book Cover Picture
  12. 12

    Thinking in Pictures

    Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. Writing from the dual perspectives of a scientist and an autistic person, she tells us how that country is experienced by its inhabitants and how she managed to breach its boundaries to function in the outside world.

    Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition Book Cover Picture
  13. 13


    Driven by questions about how overfishing, coastal development, and climate change were contributing to a jellyfish population explosion, Juli Berwald embarked on a scientific odyssey. She traveled the globe to meet the biologists who devote their careers to jellies, hitched rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild, raised jellyfish in her dining room, and throughout it all marveled at the complexity of these alluring and ominous biological wonders.

    Spineless Book Cover Picture
  14. 14

    Enchantress of Numbers

    Jennifer Chiaverini illuminates the life of Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace—Lord Byron’s daughter and the world’s first computer programmer.

    Enchantress of Numbers Book Cover Picture
  15. 15

    Girls Who Code

    Since 2012, the organization Girls Who Code has taught computing skills to and inspired over 40,000 girls across America. Now its founder, and author Brave Not Perfect, Reshma Saujani, wants to inspire girls to code.

    Girls Who Code Book Cover Picture
  16. 16

    Lab Girl

    Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist.

    Lab Girl Book Cover Picture
  17. 17

    Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment

    Read the book that sparked the modern environmental movement, with an unprecedented collection of letters, speeches, and other writings that reveal the extraordinary courage and vision of its author.

    Rachel Carson: Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment (LOA #307) Book Cover Picture
  18. 18

    The Discovery of Jeanne Baret

    Anchored in impeccable original research and bursting with unforgettable characters and settings, The Discovery of Jeanne Baret offers a forgotten heroine a chance to bloom at long last.

    The Discovery of Jeanne Baret Book Cover Picture
  19. 19


    Clive Thompson unpacks the surprising history of the field, beginning with the first coders — brilliant and pioneering women, who, despite crafting some of the earliest personal computers and programming languages, were later written out of history.

    Coders Book Cover Picture

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