Book Review: ‘Lab Hopping’ by Aashima Dogra and Nandita Jayaraj

A quest to unveil the Indian Women Scientists across the length and breadth of the peninsula.


Book Title: Lab Hopping: A Journey to Find India’s Women in Science
Author: Aashima Dogra and Nandita Jayaraj
Publisher: Penguin India

Book Review
Due to underrepresentation, gender prejudice and discrimination, cultural expectations, and a lack of exposure, women scientists in India may not be as well-known as their male counterparts. Women make up just 14% of India’s scientific and engineering workforce, making it difficult for them to develop in their professions and be recognized for their achievements.

Furthermore, women are generally expected to prioritize family duties above their employment, and they may not receive the same degree of media coverage or public recognition as males.

The two authors set out on a mission to highlight the stories of women scientists hailing from different cities in India. Their aim was to showcase the perspectives of ordinary women in science, not just those who have achieved great success.

The task was challenging because it was difficult to obtain information about these women. Nevertheless, they discovered that many of them are engaged in their own research and are also mentoring the next generation of female scientists, despite receiving limited recognition for their work.

“Lab Hopping” published by Penguin is divided into four parts where each part is divided into chapters. Part I discusses in detail the purpose of the book, the gender bias that prevails between males and females in the science field, and then features some famous women scientists around the world.

Lab Hopping by Aashima Dogra and Nandita Jayaraj Book Cover
Lab Hopping by Aashima Dogra and Nandita Jayaraj Book Cover

Likewise, the other parts showcase unknown and wonderfully researched facts about women in prominent roles in many institutions, the fights they had, and their rebellious situations. Parts three and four unleash the common prejudice the society has on women.

Aashima Dogra and Nandita Jayaraj’s book, “Lab Hopping”, is a thoroughly researched and well-articulated work that chronicles the journeys of women in science across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Varanasi, Jaipur, and Kalimpong.

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The book is written in a conversational style that presents factual information while also sharing the authors’ experiences in the first person plural. Additionally, the book features insightful conversations with accomplished women scientists as well as those in the earlier stages of their scientific careers, providing a fresh perspective on the obstacles and achievements of women in the field.

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Storizen Magazine March 2023 Cover – Anuja Chandramouli

Read more book reviews in our March 2023 Issue featuring Anuja Chandramouli