Test Cover Image of:  The Bearded Lady Project

The Bearded Lady Project

Challenging the Face of Science

Edited by: Lexi Jamieson Marsh and Ellen Currano
Challenging persistent gender biases in the sciences, the Bearded Lady Project puts the spotlight on underrepresented geoscientists in the field and in the lab. This book pairs portraits of these scientists after donning fake beards with personal essays in which they tell their stories.

Author Information

Lexi Jamieson Marsh is the founder of the independent production company On Your Feet Entertainment and the director and producer of The Bearded Lady Project short and feature-length documentary films. She is currently visiting assistant professor of media and culture at Miami University.

Ellen Currano is a paleontologist at the University of Wyoming with a joint appointment in the Department of Botany and the Department of Geology and Geophysics. Her research focuses on the response of ancient forest communities to environmental changes.


Lindsay Zanno, head of paleontology, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences:
“The stories within are compelling, and I wish I had been able to read them before I embarked on my own career as a scientist. The contributors’ and editors’ voices emanate clearly from the pages. The writing is an impressive combination of approachable yet sophisticated, powerful yet playful, meticulously researched and fact-based, yet balanced with personal, often painful narratives.

Emily Graslie, chief curiosity correspondent at the Field Museum of Natural History:
The Bearded Lady Project is a necessary novelty. It’s snarky, beautiful, and increasingly powerful in the evolution of its message: Don’t ever assume you know what a scientist looks like. These essays—critical, poignant examinations of societal and historical perceptions of genius—remind us how much scientists have to say about the world in which their research takes place.

Marcia Bjonerud, professor of geosciences at Lawrence University, author of Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World:
The portraits in The Bearded Lady Project intentionally cause double takes, forcing the viewer to look, then look again. But their real power lies in how they require us to look inward and see that antediluvian ideas about who can and cannot do science still linger. The accompanying stories of remarkable women in paleontology make one hopeful that soon these old stereotypes will finally go extinct.

Audience: General/trade;