The MIT Press breaks new ground with STEM-themed young-adult graphic fiction

With “The Curie Society,” the press reaches out to a new generation of individuals interested in ethics and equity in STEM.

With one of its latest publications, the MIT Press is breaking new ground — and reaching out to new audiences.

The Curie Society” is a STEM-themed action-adventure graphic novel for young adults, the first publication in this genre in the press’s nearly 60-year history.

“You would be forgiven if you didn’t expect to see this book come from an academic publisher,” says Jermey Matthews, acquisitions editor at the MIT Press. “The MIT Press has done fiction before. We publish STEM extensively. And we even recently released two well-received graphic books: ‘The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe’ and ‘A Brief History of Feminism.’ Still, publishing a novel for a young adult audience is breaking new ground.”

Created by Heather Einhorn, Adam Staffaroni, Janet Harvey, and Sonia Liao, “The Curie Society” follows a team of young women recruited by an elite secret society with the mission of supporting the most brilliant female scientists, engineers, and technologists in the world.

“The Curie Society” introduces an entertaining, empowering media universe for fans of all ages, genders, and identities who love a spy thriller. The heroines of the Curie Society use their smarts, gumption, and cutting-edge technology to protect the world from rogue scientists with nefarious plans. Readers can follow recruits Simone, Taj, and Maya as they decipher secret codes, clone extinct animals, develop autonomous robots, and go on high-stakes missions. The science used by the characters in this book is verified and was fact-checked by a real-life society of female-identifying scientists.

The MIT Press views the publication of “The Curie Society” as an important opportunity to engage a new generation of individuals interested in diversity in science and technology.

“Although reaching Gen Z and Millennial fandoms is new territory for us, we are excited about the impact that “The Curie Society” can have on the next, and current, generation of adults,” says Matthews. These young people will be responsible for advancing the push for ethics and equity in STEM.”

Publication of “The Curie Society” was supported, in part, by the MIT Press Fund for Diverse Voices, which aims to increase the press’s publication of books by or about women and other underrepresented people in science and technology.

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