- Paperback: 254 pages
- Publisher: Green Place Books (2 November 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1732081522
- ISBN-13: 978-1732081529
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 1.8 x 22.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 354 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Love, Sex & Mushrooms: Advenutres of a Woman in Science Paperback – 2 Nov 2018
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About the Author
Cardy Raper received a Masters in Science degree from The University of Chicago and a PhD from Harvard University. She has been extensively published in national and international scientific journals and was named a University of Vermont Research Professor Emerita in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. She was recently honored by being elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is the author of A Woman of Science: An Extraordinary Journey of Love, Discovery, and the Sex Life of Mushrooms.
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More recently I've been back in touch with Cardy and knew about her efforts to write Love, Sex and Mushrooms. I was sure I would read it once it became available, and I'm delighted I did. Although I knew I would find it of interest due to my own academic history, the book exceeded my expectations by orders of magnitude. This book is an autobiography that tells the story of becoming an established scientist. Regardless of gender, that is a fascinating adventure. Cardy, of course, tells the story in terms of what it's like for a woman scientist to accomplish this daunting challenge. Thus at one level the book serves as an inspiration for all young scientists, women and men, who aspire to build a scientific career. Along with the inspiration, come lots of tidbit-hints on what must be done.
At a different level, the book also brought me up to date on the quest to understand the sexual mating system of a fascinating fungus, Schizophyllum commune. Although my own work in the Raper lab at Harvard focused on formation of the fruiting body, I followed the work of my colleagues as they deciphered the genetic control of sexual mating patterns. I had not, however, closely followed this work after I veered off into environmental studies. Cardy's book tells the story of what happened after I left the Raper lab in 1969. Thus the book is also an inspiring story in the history of science.
At a third level, Cardy successfully interweaves the two stories: working to become an established scientist and the continuing saga of of uncovering the mechanism of Schizophyllum's escapades to mate. To weave these stories together, helped immensely by Cardy's wonderful sense of humor, is a literary accomplishment that rivals the first two levels.
I'll end with my thanks to Cardy for an excellent, inspiring read!
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