Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling: An American Woman Becomes a DNA Scientist

ABOUT Laura Hoopes

Laura Hoopes



Laura Hoopes takes you along as she tries to enter science in the 1960's in the post-Sputnik science education frenzy, only to find doors closed to women.  She persists, makes a career of molecular gerontology and insists on making space for marriage and children in her life.  This inspiring read says, "Yes, you can," to women who have dreams of their own.

My Pomona College first year students in Biographies of Biologists seminar wanted to read a memoir or biography of a woman in science who had a family life and achieved family-career balance. When I couldn't find one, they urged me to write a memoir since I told them I had balanced my own career and family and still did research on the molecules of aging. Later I heard Donna Shalala say that we need many more biographies of women in science, and having surveyed the few available, I am sure she is right.

Spiral Ceiling isn't just about women in science.  It's about each of us trying to be the person we should be, the hurdles that change our direction, and the power that comes from realizing we've become exactly the person we want to be.  An uplifting read for anyone whose path is unclear.%u201D Johanna Hardin, Mathematics Professor

%u201CThis book is inspirational to so many women venturing into science, engineering, or any field, where they will be subject to injustice due to their gender, subtle or otherwise. %u201D   Rossana D%u2019Antonio, Engineer  

%u201CHoopes' story of marching undaunted through a man's world to pursue the discipline she loved is evocative and compelling.  When she writes about science, her words become luminescent.  An inspiring read!%u201D  S. Kay Murphy, Author and Teacher

"Laura Hoopes takes you on an inspiring journey of self-discovery as she chronicles her successful efforts to achieve the balance of a  scientific career and a fulfilling personal life.%u201D  Libby Grandy, Writer

%u201CLaura captures both the egregious and the more subtle (and often more deadly) ways women were discouraged from pursuing their passion for higher education in the %u201860s and %u201870s.%u201D   Helaine Scarlett Golann, PhD in Psychology.