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The Autobiography of a Transgender Scientist

Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Length: 4 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ben Barres was known for his groundbreaking scientific work and for his groundbreaking advocacy for gender equality in science. In this book, completed shortly before his death from pancreatic cancer in December 2017, Barres (born Barbara Barres in 1954) describes a life full of remarkable accomplishments - from his childhood as a precocious math and science whiz to his experiences as a female student at MIT in the 1970s to his female-to-male transition in his 40s to his scientific work and role as teacher and mentor at Stanford. 

Barres recounts his early life - his interest in science, first manifested as a fascination with the mad scientist in Superman; his academic successes; and his gender confusion. Barres felt even as a very young child that he was assigned the wrong gender. After years of being acutely uncomfortable in his own skin, Barres transitioned from female to male. As an undergraduate at MIT, Barres experienced discrimination, but it was after transitioning that he realized how differently male and female scientists are treated. This led him to become an advocate for gender equality in science.

©2018 Society for Neuroscience (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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Ben Barres’ autobiography breaks barriers for all

Reading this very personal story was a great privilege. It touched me personally as a scientist, mentor, female, and person of color. Thank you Ben Barres for the many lessons you’ve taught us and the great legacy you’ve left for us that includes an amazing number of scientific children! Imas a reader, if you want to live in a world where gender bias is a thing of the past in all walks of life this is a must read!

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  • Mon_R
  • Providence, RI
  • 10-19-18

Inspiring

A great treatise in humanity, inequality and tolerance in a life of a fellow believer of the greatness of scientific discovery. May his soul finds rest.