Book Review By Duncan L.


Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling by Laura L. Mays Hoopes

Dr. Laura L. Mays Hoopes is the Halstead-Bent Professor of Biology and Molecular Biology at Pomona College, California. She writes about her long profession in academia, starting as an undergraduate at Goucher College, Maryland in 1962 until the present. Her distinguished career spans over forty years. Dr. Hoopes¶ career decision to a commitment to science sprang from her summer study program in marine ecology at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Completing her undergraduate degree, she went on to earn her doctorate at Yale while successfully overcoming the petty and major discriminations against women; she endured, becoming a noted scientist in her field of biology. Her interest in DNA and other biological issues; such as ageing shaped her research decisions. Dr. Hoopes accepted her first faculty position at Occidental College, California, focused on teaching and training students in research techniques. Unable to procure a position with a prestigious research university due to discrimination against women in science, at the time, she persevered in her research interests. She had many personal problems to overcome and spent years dealing with the difficulties of her field, male scientist domination and the vagaries of federal research funding. Dr. Hoopes¶ long successful career stands as a testimonial to a woman dedicated to pursue her research choices while teaching. She wrote a textbook on Molecular Genetics in 1981 that was a standard in her field for several years. She emerged as a seasoned scientist who did it her way in spite of the system, problems and pressures. Her life was one dedicated to first-class science and warm human relationships. Dr. Hoopes was able to have a full family life, growing as a person, teacher and scientist in a period when her field was emerging and formalizing. Her life is an example and inspiration to those who wish to follow in her footsteps. Hoopes, Laura L. Mays Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling, Lula Publishing, 2010, 163 pages. Rating: 4 1 Type: Memoir February 6, 2012 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

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