PositiveThe Wall Street JournalMr. Winchester covers more than 200 years of fine-tuning in this work, and corrals a large cast of eccentric individuals ... Personally, Mr. Winchester professes a preference, even a passion, for the imprecise ... Not all parts of the book fit precisely together. Mr. Winchester inserts many footnotes (appearing every few pages in some chapters) that supply all sorts of ancillary information: a line of poetry, a bit of historical background, a fine point of definition, an amusing factlet. But the footnotes are just as likely to contain pertinent material that could have, should have been incorporated into the main body of the text rather than relegated to a dozen or more lines of tiny type ... If we fail to accept the equal value of the natural order, the author warns, \'then nature will in time overrun ... none shall survive—no matter how precise\' ... brighter prospect glimmers in the interesting afterword that Mr. Winchester appends about metrology, the science of measurement. Here he offers a brief history of standard units such as the meter and the kilogram. The process cheers him considerably ... the \'duration by which, fundamentally, we measure everything that we make and use, and which in turn helps establish for us with unfailing exactitude the precision that allows the modern world to function.\'
Claire L. Evans
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewBoth A Lab of One’s Own and Broad Band — along with numerous other recent titles like Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly — provide much needed perspective, along with presumed-absent foremothers and role models. As a genre, these true stories constitute a chorus of voices all saying the same thing: 'Yes, Virginia, there are women who do science.''