True Stories of How ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Inspired Female Scientists


Back in 1962 when “A Wrinkle in Time” was first printed, good, younger females who appreciated science have been scarce. But writer Madeline L’Engle was nothing if not a visionary, and so was her guide’s foremost character, Meg Murry.

The glasses-wearing, science-loving woman who finally ends up saving her father has captivated ladies and boys alike for many years. Now, she’s set to rule the silver display come March 9, 2018 when the Disney movie hits theaters. Even higher than the various star-power behind the movie (the solid contains Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, amongst others), is the message Meg continues to ship to women and girls right this moment that science, expertise, engineering and math (STEM) careers are decidedly not the boys golf equipment they as soon as have been. In truth girls made up 24 p.c of the Americans employed in STEM occupations in 2015.

HowStuffWorks talked to a few modern-day “Megs” to learn how they have been impressed by the character’s bravery, ambition and intelligence to pursue real-life scientific success.

The Neuropsychologist

“I loved the book so much I actually wrote to Madeline L’Engle and to my surprise she wrote back!”

Dr. Amy Serin

Dr. Amy Serin is a profitable neuropsychologist. Reading “A Wrinkle in Time” as a woman had an enormous impact on her future accomplishments. “It was 1984 and almost unheard of to have a female heroine who I could identify with in a book,” says the Serin Center founder and chief science officer and co-founder of the Touchpoint Solution, in an e mail interview. “I loved the book so much I actually wrote to Madeline L’Engle and to my surprise she wrote back! We became pen pals for a short time when I was in the third or fourth grade. She encouraged me to follow my dreams and her responses really helped encourage me.”

Meg was way over a fictional character to Dr. Serin. “Reading the book helped me to identify that it was OK that I wasn’t like other girls and that I should follow my passion and curiosity.”

Today, Dr. Serin devotes her skilled life to serving to individuals who wrestle with debilitating neurological problems like anxiousness, PTSD and despair. Through her work with the TouchPoint Solution, she has produced a life-style wearable system designed to considerably alleviate stress. “Having a way to manage stress in real-time represents a profound shift in the way we all can live more productive lives.”

The Doctor-Turned-Inventor

Much of the story is about Meg’s quest to seek out her father all through house and time, however Dr. Amy Baxter zeroed in instantly on Meg’s mom, Mrs. Murry, who was a microbiologist. “Of course I was inspired by Mrs. Murry (why wasn’t she Dr.?) out in the garage with her lab equipment,” she emails. “Mrs. Murry was the ultimate balanced scientist mom – the nurturing skills to make hot cocoa when the kids needed it, the presence and power to let the kids take care of what they should be able to, the will to plug forward even when her husband was gone, the courage to ignore haters, and the trust in her kids to accept the Mrs. [three characters in the book] when introduced. Sometimes she didn’t leave the lab, and that was OK. She was a role model for science-balance.”

Like many, Dr. Baxter additionally felt a robust connection to Meg. “It was the first time I was introduced to a female protagonist who felt ostracized for being smart, and was loved anyway – and whose love for others saved the day. Powerful stuff when you’re a chubby loner reading books in class all day long,” she remembers.

The guide led to Dr. Baxter’s eventual success as a 20-year emergency room physician-turned-inventor. As a child, “I loved the idea of solving problems in your garage. I made a chemistry lab in my basement at home, but discovered the stuff they give you in kids’ home chemistry kits can only turn things pink and blue, not cure cancer,” she says. Her persistence paid off, nevertheless. “Even though I practiced medicine, my career ended up pivoting on something I made in my basement,” she explains.

That one thing is a tool she invented to dam needle ache, which gained traction as a strategy to keep away from utilizing opioids post-surgery. Floored by the potential to stop opioid dependancy and abuse, a scourge that’s presently devastating America, she promptly give up training drugs. She has since devoted herself to fine-tuning a bigger, wearable model of the system often known as “VibraCool,” typically used to assist with ache administration for knee and elbow points.

The Mathematician

The idea of time journey itself performed an enormous half within the profession path of Dr. Abbe Herzig, presently a professor within the Department of Educational Theory and Practice on the University of Albany. “I have always been fascinated by the concept of time. What is time? Is time travel possible? There are intriguing paradoxes and puzzles associated with time travel and the nature of the passage of time,” she writes in an e mail. “‘A Wrinkle in Time’ was one of the first books I read as a child that dealt with these ideas, and turned me into a lifelong time-geek.”

The guide’s light push has since led her to discover many areas of science, time and even time journey. “My academic focus has always been mathematics, and my mathematical skills coupled with my time obsession have led me to take physics courses and read a lot about science (physics in particular, but not exclusively),” she says. She enjoys researching and accumulating several types of clocks, and likewise loves investigating the varied calendars created all through historical past. “The mathematics behind some of these measurement concepts is a real addiction of mine.”

We suppose Meg would approve.


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