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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v3.i1-2.50
pages 65-75

UNPACKING THE GENDERING OF CHEMISTRY: A BIOGRAPHICAL CASE STUDY OF MARJORIE VOLD

Sharon Sue Kleinman
Quinnipiac University; and Department of Communication, 336 Kennedy Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

ABSTRACT

This is an analysis of the career of a twentieth century chemist, Dr. Marjorie Jean Young Void (1913-1991). Void's story is at once inspiring and sobering for scholars interested in women's status in science. She graduated first in her class at the University of California at Berkeley in 1934. Then at 23 she earned her doctorate in chemistry at Berkeley. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1953 while a 40-year-old chemistry lecturer and mother of three young children. She wrote three major science texts, scores of journal articles, and numerous book chapters while carrying a demanding teaching load and suffering from multiple sclerosis for the last 35 years of her life. One of this century's brightest woman stars in colloid chemistry, Void is now virtually invisible in the history of science. This paper seeks to redress this invisibility.