Zernike, a journalist, tells a story familiar to women with professional ambitions in the mid-20th century. Nancy Hopkins, a molecular biologist who attended Radcliffe, winds up working in the lab of Nobel prize-winner James Watson. Naïve at first about the discrimination she is subjected to—Watson’s Nobel co-winner, Francis Crick, once groped her breasts—Hopkins’s eyes slowly open as events of the 1960s awaken women to their rights. Hopkins's experiences as a researcher and scholar at Harvard and MIT make you want to pound the wall and scream with outrage. But, wait! Eventually, Hopkins and 15 MIT women scientists force the institution to acknowledge a history of pervasive gender discrimination and promise changes. An overdue win for women.
The Exceptions by Kate Zernike