We spoke with Teresa Robeson about her book Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom:
When I first came across C.S. Wu, possibly in a Physics Today magazine, I felt like I had found a kindred spirit: we shared a love of physics, a Chinese-American immigrant background, and parents who valued learning above all. Unfortunately, we also shared experiences of racial and gender discrimination and of being overlooked.
But Wu persevered in the face of adversity, following her father’s advice to “Ignore the obstacles. Just put your head down and keep walking forward.” Because of her determination, she excelled in research that gained her the admiration of other scientists and people all over the world.
I knew I had to share her life not only so that kids who face similar difficulties can have more role models like Wu, but also so that everyone can experience what it’s like to face setbacks that they themselves may not encounter. It’s a story for empowerment and empathy!