Dr. Meg Urry is currently the President of the American Astronomical Society, was formerly on the Hubble space telescope faculty, and was chair of the Department of Physics at Yale University from 2007 to 2013. She double-majored in physics and mathematics at Tufts University, and then earned both an M.S. and a PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins. She then conducted a postdoctorate at M.I.T.’s Center for Space Research. She is a strong and active advocate for women and minorities in science, especially in astronomy. Dr. Urry studies Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), and the relationship of normal galaxies to AGNs. Approximately two years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to meet her while she was giving a lecture at Wesleyan University (see my previous post about that), and talking to her again for this blog was an incredible experience.
Most of you have probably heard about New Horizons successfully making it to Pluto. (YAY)! What you may not know is that the person responsible for designing the trajectory was Yan Ping, an amazing woman in science! Not only did the fly-by make it to Pluto, but it was only 70 seconds off of its projected flight time. A flight time that was 9 years, and covered a span of 3 billion miles. She is incredible!
Also, 25% of the New Horizons team is female! Go ladies!
Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi is a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkley. She won a MacArthur genius award at age 33, making her one of the youngest scientists to do so. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, and the Institute of Medicine. In 2010 she was the first woman to receive the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Prize faculty award. She was kind enough to talk to me a few months ago, andI finally found time to post her interview.
Hey guys! So I’m hoping to post not one but three interviews with women in science this week! About a month ago, before I took a mental break from things, I interviewed Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi, who does amazing work in Chemistry and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. Then, at a reception for the Sturm Lecture I liveblogged, I was able to record a quick conversation I had with Dr. Sara Seager, who was absolutely incredible. And finally, I was able to do a skype interview with one of my personal heroes, role models, and inspirations, Dr. Meg Urry, who is the President of the AMerican Astronomical Association, and it was absolutely amazing! So keep an eye out for those, I just have to go through and type them up!
7:56 – Lecture set to start in a few minutes. Went with friend (Rachel) from my astronomy class. Astronomy class friend Max makes a surprise appearance. Also I went to the slightly more high-level colloquium talk today and Dr Seager is super cool. And unreasonably accomplished. She also sorta looks like a bird which sounds like I’m being rude but I swear I’m not she’s super cool. She looks like a very elegant bird.
8:00 – Gorgeous image of the milky way as seen from earth is the title slide background. Rachel and I agree we want to see it like this someday. Also I’m bad at typing fast.
8:05 – Prof. Seth Redfield giving intros. New woman who’s name I didn’t get is giving thanks to everyone for coming/explaining the lecture.
8:06 – She’s the provost. Says she’s bragging about the university. Easy to do cause we’re an awesome university. Major shoutout given to the astro dept for being SUPER RAD. Apparently Prof. Redfield is (maybe) about to be a full professor!! (Go Seth)!
Dr Meredith Hughes got her BS in physics and astronomy at Yale, and got her PhD in astronomy at Harvard University. She does research on planet formation and disk evolution around newly forming stars. In 2005, she was awarded Yale’s George Beckwith prize in astronomy and received the Fireman Fellowship for an outstanding PhD thesis from the Harvard Astronomy Department. She was also awarded the Miller Fellowship. She serves on the American Astronomical Society’s Committee for the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA), and acts as the liaison between the CSWA and the Working Group on LGBTIQ… Equality. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. In fact, she taught my observational astronomy class my freshman year.