Works

The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy.
(Yale University Press 2011)
Bayes’ rule can be described in a sentence: updating our initial beliefs with objective new information, we get a new and improved belief. To its fans, it is an elegant statement about learning from experience. To opponents, it is subjectivity run amok. Great scientists battled over Bayes for 200 years.

Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles and Momentous Discoveries
(National Academy Press)
Since 1901, more than 500 men have won science Nobel Prizes. Only 15 of them, about 3 percent, have been women. Why? The biographies of 15 women scientists who won a Nobel or came very close show why. McGrayne interviewed all the featured women alive at the time and more than 250 of their close associates.

Prometheans in the Lab: Chemistry and the Making of the Modern World
Bios of 9 scientists whose discoveries—soap, sugar, colorful dyes, clean water, fertilizer, synthetic fabrics, DDT, safe refrigeration, and powerful gasoline—solved critical social problems and created our modern way of life. Evenhandedly, McGrayne explores the upside of each pivotal discovery and their sometimes devastating effects on the environment and public health.

Selected Works

Nonfiction
The non-mathematical story of the fight over Bayes' rule and its ultimate triumph.

"A rollicking tale of the triumph of a powerful mathematical tool."
—Nature
"If you are not thinking like a Bayesian, perhaps you should be." John Allen Paulos, New York Times Book Review.
Editor's Choice, New York Times Book Review.
Biographies of 15 women scientists who won a Nobel Prize—or came very close.

“Spellbinding, compelling.”
—The Science Teacher
Biographies of nine chemists whose discoveries solved serious social and technological problems.

“A compelling read… fascinating.”
—Nature

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