1I began this study as a doctoral dissertation at the Science and Technology Studies program at Virginia Tech. I owe my thanks there first and foremost to my advisor Richard Burian who generously granted me his time, his ideas, and his friendship. I am also grateful to my dissertation committee members, Bernice Hausman, Gary Downey, Joseph Pitt, Peter Galison, and Aristides Baltas for their critical advice, moral support, and constant encouragement throughout my years of dissertation research and writing. To my fellow students both at Virginia Tech and at the National Technical University of Athens where I completed my first master's degree in history and philosophy of science and technology I am indebted for their friendship, long discussions, and the chance to work out ideas. I would especially like to also thank Brad Kelley, Joan Marie, Sarah Mitchell, Pei Koay, Jean Miller, Ty Brady, George Fourtounis, and Lara Scourla. Over the years I have profited immensely from discussions with, and thoughtful critique by, Bert Moyer, Peter Machamer, Alan Rocke, Tyler Smith, Gary Hardcastle, Ellen Balka, Bernhard Wieser, Doris Wallnöfer, Ulrich Dolata, Leo Slater, and Godfrey Guillamin. Thanks also go to Londa Schiebinger, Elizabeth Crawford, and Hermann Fuhrmann for their significant contributions to the revision of my dissertation. I thank Leopold Halpern, Arnold Perlmutter, Agnes Rodhe, and especially Artur Svansson for allowing me to interview them and for sharing with me their memories, family pictures, private letters, and unpublished manuscripts.

2In presenting my work to several conferences and workshops, I wish to acknowledge the insightful comments and suggestions made by Annette Vogt, Ida Stamhuis, Sonia Strobanova, Annette Lykknes, Marsha Richmond, Brigitte Bischoff, Eva Kranakis, John Krige, Ann Laberge, Bill Leslie, and Margaret Rossiter.

3I owe a tremendous debt to all the archivists whose help has been indispensable during my years of historical and archival research. I would like to particularly acknowledge the help of the archivist, and now dear friend, Stefan Sienell, of the main archive of the Institute for Radium Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Stefan went out of his way to suggest and locate important material that I would have never been able to find otherwise. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the archivists in the following archives: the University of Miami archives; the Archives of Scientific Philosophy, Rose Rand collection of the Hillman Library at the University of Pittsburgh; the Association of American University Women Educational Foundation; the archives of the University of Albany State University of New York; the Rockefeller Archive Center; the Nobel Archives of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; the Churchill College Archives in Cambridge, Lise Meitner Collection; the archives of the University of Cambridge, Ernest Rutherford collection; the Max Planck Gesellschaft archives in Berlin; the Albert Einstein archive; the Niels Bohr archive; the archives of the Escuela Superior de Ingenieria Mecanica y Electrica (ESIME); the archives of the Centro de Documentacion e Investigacion de la Comunidad Ashkenazi de Mexico; the archives of the Göteborgs Universitetsbibliotek; the Archiv der Universität Wien; the archives of the Österreichische Zentralbibliotek für Physik, and especially the archivist Brigitte Kromp who provided invaluable guidance for most of the photographic material which appears in this book. I would like to also acknowledge Ruth Freund, physicist and director of the Institut für KH Physik at the hospital in Lainz, Vienna. Although she is not an archivist, she has a remarkable understanding about the important historical material that is held at the hospital. Without her help, I would not be able to locate scattered letters, reports, and files that were not even catalogued.

4A number of research grants and fellowships made my research and the completion of this book possible. I acknowledge the following institutions: Virginia Polytechnic Institute; American Institute for Physics; Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research; and the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology, and Society in Graz. During 2003 and 2004, I was a recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science where I have returned twice as a visiting scholar for Ursula Klein’s research group. My work there enabled me to turn my dissertation into this book. I am deeply indebted to Klein and Wolfgang Lefèvre for sharing their ideas with me and for providing advice, insightful criticism, and genuine friendship over the years I spent in Berlin. To Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, I owe my thanks for his warm welcome at the colloquiums of his department at the Max Planck Institute and for his interest in my work.

5In 2003, the American Historical Association in conjunction with Columbia University Press awarded me the prestigious Gutenberg-e Prize, an honor that changed my professional life. The prize included the publication of a revised version of my dissertation manuscript and a generous monetary award. Most important, this made available to me an astounding network of other prize recipients, experienced editors, and the possibility to participate in informative workshops about electronic publication. Living in Greece, a country with limited resources and inadequate libraries, I have come to appreciate the importance of the AHA/CUP joint effort to make available electronic versions of new books and to publish the work of young scholars at a time when many are finding it difficult to publish first books in the humanities. I greatly enjoyed being one of the first to experience the transition from print to electronic books and I am especially grateful to Elisabeth Fairhead and Kate Wittenberg for their help in doing so. As a non-native speaker of English I also had to rely heavily on Snigdha Koirala and Jim Callan to revise my manuscript. I thank them for their patience and thoughtful suggestions.

6Throughout this book, I have resorted to materials and articles that I have published elsewhere previously. I would like to thank the publishers for permitting me to use this material and wish to cite the following:

  • "Women and Radioactivity Research in Vienna, 1910–1938," in Women Scholars and Institutions, edited by S. Strbanova, I. Stamhuis, and K. Mojsejova, 611–38.
  • Prague Proceedings of the International Conference: Women Scholars and Institutions, Commission Women in Science of the IUHPS/DHS 2004, "The City as a Context of Scientific Activity: Creating the Mediziner-Viertel in Fin de Siècle Vienna," Endeavour 28, no. 1 (2004), 39–44.
  • "Gender, Politics and Radioactivity Research in Interwar Vienna: The Case of the Institute for Radium Research," Isis 95 (2004), 359–93.
  • "Designing (for) a New Scientific Discipline: The Location and Architecture of the Institut für Radiumforschung in Early 20th Century Vienna," British Journal for the History of Science 38, no. 3 (2005), 275–306.
  • "From Cambridge to Vienna: The Scintillation Counter in Female Hands," Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza, 2 (2004), 675–89.
  • "From Experienced Experimenters to Scanning Girls: Women Designers and Users of the Scintillation Counter Before and After the Second World War," in Isotopes: Science, Medicine and Industry in the 20th Century, edited by Xavier Roqué, Néstor Herran, and Jeff Hughes (forthcoming).

7Finally, my greatest debt is to my parents for supporting me from the beginning of this journey. To Spiros Flevaris—the architect who taught me the difficult task of reading architectural plans, instilled in me his passion for architecture, and, luckily for me, changed my life in several respects—I owe the completion of this book.