Behrman replies: Robert Fleck astutely notes that despite significant cultural exchange between the US and Britain, the histories of women in physics in each country took very different paths. In her book A Lab of One’s Own, Patricia Fara discusses the difficulty faced by British female scientists in obtaining employment and carving out spaces for themselves in science.1 In contrast, the relative encouragement for girls to study science in the US paved the way for strong communities of female scientists at many of the country’s numerous women’s colleges. Miriam Levin chronicles one such community at Mount Holyoke College in Defining Women’s Scientific Enterprise.2
This is not to say that female physicists in the US didn’t face plenty of barriers as well—they certainly did! Rather, it is a telling confirmation of how contextual and changeable culture is.