Book Review: Magnificent Minds: 16 Remarkable Women in Science and Medicine


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Book Review: Magnificent Minds: 16 Remarkable Women in Science and Medicine

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Pendred E. Noyce’s non-fiction book Magnificient Minds: 16 Remarkable Women in Science and Medicine will have readers’ minds spinning with inspiration. 

Summary: Peppered with photos, pulled quotes, and small excerpts of extra information, Noyce’s Magnificient Minds has textbook elements paired with engaging narrative qualities.  Each portrait of the sixteen women (ranging from Florence Nightingale to Grace Hopper) plunges the reader into the personal and professional lives of the highlighted women. Points of history are outlined with timelines at the beginning of each chapter as well as small paragraphs that summarize wars or epidemics that were occurring during these women’s lives. While there is ample amounts of information about the women’s accomplishments and additions to the scientific field, there is also a look at the struggles and obstacles the women had to overcome in their personal lives. Everything from society’s prejudices to family obligations chronicle the lives of these women and emphasize the diligence and gumption each woman had in order to explore their minds and share their intellect.

Review: Noyce’s text is consistently and constantly engaging throughout every chapter. Her writing style is accessible and informative without lengthy explanations or overindulgence. By the end of the text, the reader has a great overview for each woman. This text is definitely a springboard for more research, so for a beginner’s guide about women who aided in the development and progress of science and medicine, Magnificent Minds is the perfect starting guide.

Bottom Line: Magnificent, in deed.

Audience: If you like books, such as Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA (Brenda Maddox and Dorothy Hodgkin) or Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life (Georgina Ferry) then you will be sparked and inspired by Magnificent Minds.