Lecture: Dr. Mae C. Jemison, STEM: The Importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math
Thu, November 9th, 2017
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Dr. Mae C Jemison is an American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut who became the first woman of color in the world to go into space when she flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Serving six years as a NASA astronaut, Dr. Jemison is an icon of both the women’s rights and civil rights movement, inducted into both the National Women’s Hall of Fame (1993) and the International Space Hall of Fame (2004).
A strong, committed global voice for science literacy, in 1994 Jemison founded the international science camp The Earth We Share™ (TEWS) for students 12-16 years old from around the world. In 2011, Jemison also launched the TEWS-Space Race, with the goal of improving science achievement for underserved Los Angeles-area students who are underrepresented in the sciences. Dr. Jemison continues to be a vocal advocate for improving education access and advocating for greater inclusion of girls in STEM programs. Jemison’s book, Find Where the Wind Goes, is geared for teenagers and explores her experiences growing up on the South Side of Chicago, cultivating her aspirations to be a scientist, and her history-making journey into space.
Following her time in NASA, Dr. Jemison founded both The Jemison Group and BioSentient Corporation. A technology consulting firm, The Jemison Group explores and develops stand-alone science and technology programs, integrating the critical impact of socio-cultural issues with revolutionary technologies. Among The Jemison Group’s groundbreaking work is a project to use satellite technology for health care delivery in West Africa and another to use solar dish Stirling engines for electricity generation in developing countries.
Currently, Dr. Jemison leads The 100 Year Starship (100YSS), a revolutionary initiative to assure the capability for human interstellar space travel to another star within the next century.
Prior to NASA, Jemison was a Peace Corps Medical Officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia for two and a half years, overseeing the healthcare system.
This talk serves as the Sperry Lecture for fall 2017. It is sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa, The Sterling Fund, Geosciences, President’s Office, the Science Center, Lecture Committee, Physics, Astrophysics, the Davis Center, Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Chemistry, and Sigma Xi.