Extended Audio Sample

Download Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science—and the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science—and the World Audiobook, by Rachel Swaby Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rachel Swaby Narrator: Lauren Fortgang Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2015 ISBN: 9781101890561
Regular Price: $17.50 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Fifty-two inspiring and insightful profiles of history’s brightest female scientists

In 2013 the New York Times published an obituary for Yvonne Brill. It began: “She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job, and took eight years off from work to raise three children.” It wasn’t until the second paragraph that readers discovered why the Times had devoted several hundred words to her life: Brill was a brilliant rocket scientist who invented a propulsion system to keep communications satellites in orbit and had recently been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Among the questions the obituary—and consequent outcry—prompted were: who are the role models for today’s female scientists, and where can we find the stories that cast them in their true light?

Headstrong delivers a powerful, global, and engaging response. Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our every day, Rachel Swaby’s vibrant profiles span centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each one’s ideas developed, from their first moment of scientific engagement through the research and discovery for which they’re best known.

This fascinating tour reveals these fifty-two women at their best—while encouraging and inspiring a new generation of girls to put on their lab coats.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Rachel Swaby’s no-nonsense and needed Headstrong dynamically profiles historically overlooked female visionaries in science, technology, engineering, and math.”


  • “A corrective—a spur to change…Swaby’s subjects are all worthy women who deserve more publicity.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Swaby tells the scientists’ stories with energy and clarity. Refreshingly, spouses and children are mentioned only when relevant—and the book is recipe free.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] collection of brisk, bright biographies.”

    Washington Post

  • “Swaby celebrates barrier-breaking titans…[and] has collected an inspiration master list of women in science with accessible explanations of their work.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Although many of these women may not be familiar names outside their courses of study, the author’s spadework should bring them to the forefront, allowing the general public to learn about the females who pushed beyond sexist attitudes to undertake and achieve success in a male-dominated arena. These short accounts should inspire girls who want to study science to follow their dreams…succinct and informative.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A sense of clarity and importance is conveyed in Lauren Fortgang’s narration of Swaby’s concise biographies…Swaby’s wittiness and Fortgang’s easy pace and engaging tone encourage listener interest in each groundbreaking scientist and lead to greater understanding of what each woman had to overcome to make her discovery. Passionate and feminine, Fortgang’s voice is the perfect fit for a book that seeks to increase recognition for women in science.”


Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Rachel Swaby is a freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in the Runner’s World, Wired, NewYorker.com, Afar, O, The Oprah Magazine, and others. She is a senior editor at Longshot magazine, the editor-in-chief of The Connective: Issue 1, a former research editor at Wired, and a past presenter at Pop-Up magazine.

About the Narrator

Lauren Fortgang, a graduate of Fordham University’s Theater Program, is an actress, narrator, and costume designer. She has recorded everything from video games to textbooks. Her audiobook narrations have earned two AudioFile Earphones Awards and placed her as a finalist for an Audie Award in 2014.