Women inventors have fallen through the cracks of history. Ethlie Ann Vare has made it her mission to drag them out, dust them off, and shine a spotlight on them. Her inspiring, entertaining and often humorous presentation puts to rest the preconception that “women don’t invent things.” Women have invented everything from – as the subtitle of her first book on the subject, the award-winning Mothers of Invention put it – the Bra to the Bomb.
In fact, women have invented everything from your morning coffee (Melitta Bentz) to your midnight frozen pizza (Rose Totino), from the windshield wipers on your car (Mary Anderson) to the caller ID on your cell phone (Carolyn Doughty.) Women’s innovations have explored Mars and defused IED’s in Iraq; they have cured smallpox, meningitis and childhood leukemia. Yet for some reason they remain answers to trivial pursuit questions, rather than classroom curricula.
Ethlie Ann Vare is best known as an entertainment journalist and television writer/producer. She has written such popular TV shows as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda and Silk Stalkings. Her other books include biographies of rock stars Stevie Nicks and Ozzy Osbourne and pop icons Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, as well as a funny and controversial look at sex and love addiction: Love Addict: Sex, Romance and Other Dangerous Drugs.
But her favorite topic is women inventors. She and Mothers of Invention co-author Greg Ptacek also wrote the sequel Patently Female: From AZT to TV Dinners and the YA text Women Inventors and Their Discoveries. Her biography of chemist Ellen Swallow Richards, Adventurous Spirit, was an award-winner for new readers. Ethlie has been a favorite speaker on campus for the past 20 years, and there are women scientists and inventors working today who were first inspired by one of her books or talks. “It’s up to you to go out and rewrite history,” she tells the audience. “Better yet, go out and make history.” Sometimes, they do.
“Ethlie Ann Vare was wonderful. She really influenced every person there.” – College of St. Catherine
“I can recommend this program to anyone looking for a dynamic, insightful addition to their lecture program.” – University of Idaho
“Unique, funny… an eye-opening presentation.” University of Southwest Louisiana
“Humorously informative… everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.” Dana College
“Ethlie Ann Vare is an incredibly dynamic speaker and very easy to work with. We received more coverage on this event than any other in years” – University of North Florida