Kevlar® Dare Bigger™ Moments: New Book Features Stephanie Kwolek - Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and the World

Kevlar® Dare Bigger™ Moments

The final chapter of a new book released this month by Broadway Books is dedicated to Stephanie Kwolek, the DuPont scientist and inventor whose discoveries 50 years ago led to the invention of DuPont™ Kevlar®. Kwolek passed away last June at the age of 90, but is an icon for Dare Bigger™. 

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed science - and the World

Featuring Kevlar® inventor Stephanie Kwolek

Kevlar® inventor Stephanie Kwolek

Photo courtesy of The Chemical Heritage Foundation

In the chapter dedicated to Stephanie Kwolek author, Rachel Swaby, describes how her discoveries changed the course of her career. “The idea was that Kwolek would put in a few years at DuPont in order to save the money she needed to become a doctor. But a funny thing happened on the way to medical school.” She talks about how “the threads she set out to create would challenge the concept of what a material is capable of – a feat that would change the course of history.”

Swaby, is a former research editor for Wired and a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Wired; O, The Oprah Magazine;; Afar; and other publications.

Among the praise for the book, Maria Konnikova, The New Yorker writer and New York Times bestselling author of Mastermind, called it “…an eye-opening, much needed exploration of the names history would do well to remember,” and Swaby, “a masterful guide through their stories.”

For her discovery, Kwolek was awarded the DuPont Lavoisier Medal for outstanding technical achievement, the only female to have received that honor. In 1995, she became the fourth woman to be added to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Kwolek won numerous awards for her work in polymer chemistry, including the National Medal of Technology, the IRI Achievement Award and the Perkin Medal

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