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Rest in Power Katherine Johnson

27 Feb 2020, 20:00 UTC
Rest in Power Katherine Johnson
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Image credit NASAIt is always difficult when a hero passes on. But celebrating their accomplishments, and the path they paved for others, is a great way to empower future generations of scientists. Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician whose calculations help send astronauts into Earth orbit and eventually to the Moon, passed away earlier this week. Her legacy was brought to public attention in the book and film Hidden Figures. Her story shows us what humans could accomplish if we created environments that were inclusive and supportive. Imagine the strides we could take to discover new worlds, uncover what dark matter is, or travel the galaxy if all people had a seat at the computer and telescope. The AIP recently released the results from the National Task Force to Elevate African American representation in Undergraduate Physics & Astronomy (TEAM-UP) which identifies five factors responsible for the success or failure of African American students in physics and astronomy. This is a starting point to understand and change the systemic barriers that people of color face in our fields. The CSWA is also compiling our Actions for a More Inclusive Astronomy which was presented as an iPoster at the 235th AAS Meeting in ...

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