Hypatia was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who invented the hydrometer in about 400 AD. Described as a charismatic teacher, she was seen as an evil symbol of the pagan science of learning and she was eventually murdered by Christian zealots.
For many women in years gone by, the invention process was fraught with danger and difficulty. Not only did they face the hardship and obstacles of inventing, they also had to contend with the sexism and gender discrimination of a male world that believed women had nothing to contribute.
Scientific women came to the fore with momentous innovations which were impossible for men to ignore. During World War Two, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr became a pioneer in wireless communications, developing a "Secret Communications System."
More recently, 20-year-old Ann Makosinski has invented the ingenious Hollow Flashlight which converts radiant body heat into electricity. Meanwhile other women continued inventing in the domestic sphere with Miracle Mops, long-lasting lipsticks, and magic knickers.
In every walk of twenty-first century life women have been challenging themselves (and men) to shape the way we live. Some of the incredible innovators featured include Myra Juliet Farrell, Sally Fox, Rosalind Franklin, Helen Murray, Anna Pavlova, M ria Telkes, Giuliana Tesoro, Halldis Aalvik Thune, Ann Tsukamoto, Margaret A. Wilcox, Ada Lovelace, and many more.
The 150 remarkable women in this book show all too clearly that not only can invention no longer be described as a male dominated domain but that a woman's inspiration and ingenuity will probably be driving the life-changing ideas of tomorrow's world.
Throughout the nineteenth century, swarms of locusts regularly swept across the continent, turning noon into dusk, demolishing farm communities, and bringing trains to a halt as the crushed bodies of insects greased the rails. In 1876, the U.S. Congress declared the locust "the single greatest impediment to the settlement of the country." From the Dakotas to Texas, from California to Iowa, the swarms pushed thousands of settlers to the brink of starvation, prompting the federal government to enlist some of the greatest scientific minds of the day and thereby jumpstarting the fledgling science of entomology. Over the next few decades, the Rocky Mountain locust suddenly--and mysteriously--vanished.A century later, Jeffrey Lockwood set out to discover why. Unconvinced by the reigning theories, he searched for new evidence in musty books, crumbling maps, and crevassed glaciers, eventually piecing together the elusive answer: A group of early settlers unwittingly destroyed the locust's sanctuaries just as the insect was experiencing a natural population crash. Drawing on historical accounts and modern science, Locust brings to life the cultural, economic, and political forces at work in America in the late-nineteenth century, even as it solves one of the greatest ecological mysteries of our time.