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Keeping Track Of The Women In Science

I appreciate Margaret Rossiter's comments about my book Women in Science: Antiquity Through the Nineteenth Century (The Scientist, February 9, 1987, p. 18). Rossiter recognized the difficulties involved in collecting scattered data and rendering it into a useful reference volume. She made a point that I think is important, that "once left out of a biographical dictionary, persons tend to be omitted from subsequent history and memory of their accomplishments essentially vanishes from sight and ho

By | March 23, 1987

I appreciate Margaret Rossiter's comments about my book Women in Science: Antiquity Through the Nineteenth Century (The Scientist, February 9, 1987, p. 18). Rossiter recognized the difficulties involved in collecting scattered data and rendering it into a useful reference volume. She made a point that I think is important, that "once left out of a biographical dictionary, persons tend to be omitted from subsequent history and memory of their accomplishments essentially vanishes from sight and honor."

There are many women omitted from this work who do not deserve oblivion. Seldom does a day pass when I do not find a person who might have been included in the dictionary. I have established a data base file entitled "New Women," where I keep information for an update of the original work. In many ways, I view this project as one of "filling in the blanks." I have filled in many. As research people in the field are now discovering, many hitherto unknown women have made significant contributions to science. As more primary source material is unearthed, new candidates for the dictionary will continue to appear.

I hope this work will be, as Rossiter indicated, "an indispensable reference tool," and one that will gradually become more fleshed out with additional information.

—Marilyn B. Ogilvie
Div. of Natural Science and Mathematics
Oklahoma Baptist University
Shawnee, OK 74801

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