“Alchemy of Us” WE2 Book Club Discussion – Women’s History Month

The WENetwork Book Club invites network members, students and alumni to joins us for a regularly scheduled book club with virtual video call discussions every few months. Genres include memoir, self-help, business, historical fiction, and science fiction. The books are chosen for their themes on gender, diversity in STEM and the workforce, advancing technology, energy crisis, women in leadership, intersectionality and identity, and other important topics for women in energy and engineering fields.


Contact our Program Manager Sara Neiss you are interested in joining the Book Club, and back on this page for updates on this event.

WE2 Book Club Description and Reading List
WE2 Virtual Meeting Code of Conduct

CURRENT BOOK: “The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another” by Ainissa Ramirez, Ph.D

DISCUSSION DATE: Tuesday March 30, 2021 | 4-5 pm EST

Join us in Celebrating Women’s History Month (March) and Black History Month (February) in reading The Alchemy of Us, by scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez.

“The book examines eight inventions clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips–and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hotheaded undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway’s writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid’s cameras to create passbooks to track black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies.”

“Filling in the gaps left by other books about technology, Ramirez showcases little-known inventors–particularly people of color and women–who had a significant impact but whose accomplishments have been hidden by mythmaking, bias, and convention. Doing so, she shows us the power of telling inclusive stories about technology.”


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Last event was in January 2021 where we discussion the book “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler. The discussion focused on leadership, embracing diversity, and climate change. You will notice that this is a very different genre, though with some parallel themes. The WE2 Book Club plans to alternate genres and writing styles and we will all broaden our experienced together. Notes from Jan 2021 – Parable of the Sower

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