Annalisa Berta and Susan TurnerOct 28, 2022
Rebels, Scholars, Explorers
Women in Vertebrate Paleontology
Johns Hopkins University Press 2020
In Rebels, Scholars, Explorers: Women in Vertebrate Paleontology (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020), Professors Annalisa Berta and Susan Turner uncover the rich legacy of women in the field of vertebrate paleontology from the eighteenth century until today. Through a series of biographies arranged both chronologically and geographically, the book offers a most welcome historical overview of the diverse contributions made by women to the advancement of vertebrate paleontology. Traditional narratives of the history of paleontology are dominated by the figures of men, leaving behind the achievements of countless women, who worked, especially during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as assistants, preparators, or illustrators. Rebels, Scholars, Explorers constitutes a powerful antidote to this distorted vision of history, introducing the reader to the many ways women have been navigating gender biases to advance the science of vertebrate paleontology. By uncovering the contributions of women, the book also reveals the critical role played by a diversity of specializations and professions (such as paleoart, collection management, and preparation) in the field of vertebrate paleontology. Overall, the book paints a holistic portrait of the field, making questions of equity and fair representation within it even more urgent.
Victor Monnin, Ph.D. is an historian of science specialized in the history of Earth sciences. He is also teaching French language and literature to undergraduates.