Not Just for the Boys

Not just for the boysPublished in the UK by OUP on May 11 2023; hardcopy £16.99; e-book will be available.


Why are girls discouraged from doing science? Why do so many promising women leave science in early and mid-career? Why do women not prosper in the scientific workforce?

Not Just For the Boys looks back at how society has historically excluded women from the scientific sphere and discourse, what progress has been made, and how more is still needed. I look at societal expectations during both childhood and working life using evidence of the systemic disadvantages women operate under, from the developing science of how our brains are—and more importantly aren’t—gendered, to social science evidence around attitudes towards girls and women doing science.

I also discusses how science is done in practice, in order to dispel common myths: for example, the perception that science is not creative, or that it is carried out by a lone genius in an ivory tower, myths that can be very off-putting to many sections of the population. A better appreciation of the collaborative, creative, and multi-disciplinary nature of science is likely to lead to its appeal to a far wider swathe of people, especially women. I look at the modern way of working in scientific research, and how gender bias operates in various ways within it, drawing on the voices and experiences of numerous leading women in science as they describe their feelings and experiences, as well as my own.


Cambridge Literary Festival April 22nd 2023 1000
Book launches in UK May 11 2023
Toppings and Company Booksellers Edinburgh May 22nd 2023 1930
Hay Festival May 30th 2023  1900
Blackwells Oxford June 7th 2023 1900 (tbc)
Science Museum Lates July 27th 2023 1930


Oxford Alumni Quad News February 6th 2023 Championing Women in Science
University of Cambridge February 10th 2023 Here come the Girls:Getting more Women into STEM

OUP Sidebands: Athene Donald on Women in Science
Not Just for the Boys Episode 1 In conversation with Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright
Episode 2 In conversation with Dr Hannah Devlin
Episode 3 In conversation with Professor Paul Walton
Episode 4 In conversation with Professor Diane Coyle