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"I cannot fight for myself, but I can fight for others."

SCIENCE HERO:
BARBARA MCCLINTOCK
by Stephanie from St. Paul


McClintock was one of the first women geneticists. She explained to everyone that you have to concentrate in order to get things done. She herself concentrated so hard that, when she worked, she forgot everything else she was supposed to do.

In 1983, she won a Nobel Prize for her her study in genetics. She won the prize in the Physiology and Medicine categories, for her discovery that genes move on their own, although she had first discovered this about 40 years before she won the prize.

She was a very distinctive woman for her day: when she was young women stayed home and took care of children. She never put up with dresses or long hair unless it was for a special reason. She had no taste for luxury or fame so when she won the Nobel Prize she hardly cared at all. She cared only about her ideas, saying that ideas were like a puzzle that no one else got until she explained to them how they worked.

When I came across a book about her I was drawn to her because she was an example to other women that they could work, too. She also inspired tons of women to work. She would probably inspire lots of women if she was more widely known.



Written by Stephanie from St. Paul
Images created by Janet Hamlin
Last changed on: 10/16/2009 10:57:57 AM

A Celebration of The Life of Dr. Barbara McClintock This site tells you some people that she knew.

Barbara McClintock profile on National Library of Medicine This site tells you about McClintock's life and work.

Read Barbara McClintock : Alone in Her Field by Deborah Heiligman.


A Feeling for the Organism : The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock
by Evelyn Fox Keller

Barbara McClintock : Nobel Prize Geneticist
by Edith Hope Fine
 

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