Scientific speculation about the biological basis of human value judgments has not, as many scientists and philosophers now argue, eliminated the philosophical distinction between facts and values. Exploring the social and spiritual implications of their work, biologists have not acted in the disinterested fashion of scientists from another planet, as they so often claim. They have instead been powerfully motivated by an identifiable set of earthly philosophical commitments, social concerns, and mythological ambitions.
Before (and even shortly after) World War II, the proper priorities for women [scientists] were widely held to be marriage and motherhood first and science second, and science was believed to be all-consuming. The notion that women could simultaneously be traditional wives, traditional mothers and productive scientists seemed to be patently absurd.
This climate of opinion meant that women...