Written in the Stars – Untold Stories of Women in Science

Date & Time

March 25, 2017 @ 8:00 pm


In this 2017 Virginia Festival of the Book program, sponsored by Lifetime Learning in UVA’s Office of Engagement, authors Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures) and Dava Sobel (The Glass Universe) will discuss their new books and careers as female historians as well as the impact they hope their work has, both in print and film adaptations.

The authors’ new books share the accomplishments of unsung women mathematicians and scientists—”human computers”—working with NASA and the Harvard College Observatory in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Historically austere at times yet evocatively personal at others, these are the true-life tales of the women who helped achieve some of America’s greatest work in our understanding of the stars and our exploration of space.


Margot Lee Shetterly

Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, grew up in Hampton, Va., where she knew many of the women in her book. She is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellow and the recipient of a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant for her research on the history of women in computing.

Dava Sobel

Dava Sobel, author of The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars is the author of five books, including the NYT bestsellers Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, and The Planets. A former New York Times science reporter and longtime contributor to The New Yorker, she is the recipient of the National Science Board’s Individual Public Service Award.