Transcending Cultures | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 12 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: March 23, 2009

Transcending Cultures

Department: Letters

Query For Readers

C&EN is researching a story about the challenges of returning to the workforce after taking off an extended period of time to care for family members, including children or parents.
If you are attempting to make this change or have recently done so, C&EN would like to hear about your experiences. Please contact Susan Ainsworth at

I FOUND "unexpected resonances" in the book review of "Lilavati's Daughters: The Women Scientists of India"—the deep influence of my father in the choice of my professional career in science(C&EN, Jan. 19, page 68). But the fathers described in the book were highly educated professionals, which my father was not. He was a self-educated man who had emigrated from Hungary to America in 1914. I chose chemistry in the 1930s, influenced by his mantra that "every woman should have a profession." His business was the manufacture of celluloid buttons. The odors in his small factory intrigued me, and I was eager to find out what the world was made of so I chose chemistry. He was delighted.

Esther Braun Sparberg
Great Neck, N.Y.

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