Aomawa Shields on Life on Other Planets
Astronomer and astrobiologist Dr. Aomawa Shields discusses her latest book, Life on Other Planets: A Memoir of Finding My Place in the Universe. The book charts her life as an astronomer, classically-trained actor, mother, and Black woman in STEM, searching for life in the universe while building a meaningful life here on Earth. Dr. Shields studies the universe outside our Solar System, researching and uncovering the planets circling distant stars with just the right conditions that could support life. Aomawa Shields is the Clare Boothe Luce Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine, and a classically-trained actor. She was named a 2015 TED Fellow and is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and a NASA Habitable Worlds program grant, among others. She is the founder and director of Rising Stargirls, a program dedicated to encouraging girls of all colors and backgrounds to learn, explore, and discover the universe using theater, writing, and visual art.