Books: December 2016

December
,
2016

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Margot Lee Shetterly, William Morrow, New York, NY, $27.99, 368 pages, Sept. 2016, ISBN: 978-0-062-36359-6

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During the labor shortage caused by World War II, the U.S. aeronautics industry was in dire need of talent. It called on a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space. Among these problem-solvers was a group of exceptionally talented African-American women who had originally been relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools. Although Jim Crow laws required them to work separately from their white counterparts, these women helped America win the Cold War and dominate space.

This book tells the story of four African-American women who faced challenges, forged alliances, and used their intellect to forge a better future for the U.S. and themselves. It chronicles their careers throughout WWII, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Space Race. These interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden emphasize the important role women and women of color play in the scientific community.

PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety

Kevin Burns, Lioncrest Publishing, Austin, TX, $19.99, 214 pages, Oct. 2016, ISBN: 978-1-619-61523-6

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Workplace safety needs to improve. Despite better safety procedures, people are still getting hurt. The problem lies in our thinking. We must shift the focus from rules to relationships.

The author, a safety management consultant, presents his M4 Method of people-centered management for safety in the workplace. He offers practical, how-to steps that frontline supervisors and safety personnel can master. The method promotes a culture based on relationships that emphasizes mentoring, coaching, and inspiring teams. The approach promises to improve employee productivity and allow workers to achieve their personal goals and their organization’s goals.

Redesigning Life: How Genome Editing Will Transform the World

John Parrington, Oxford University...

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