Past Meetup

EDUCATIONAL: Women in Space: Reality and Fiction

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We're delighted to once again host UW postdoctoral fellow Dr. Lisa Ruth Rand, who led a riveting presentation last December on "space junk" (, and this time will be giving a presentation on women's role in space history:

"The Oscar-nominated film *Hidden Figures* revealed the crucial, underacknowledged work of women of color that enabled some of the most important achievements in the American space effort. Though the real women represented in the film worked behind the scenes, official debates over women’s place in space—particularly as astronauts—began around the same time that Katherine Johnson helped get John Glenn into orbit, and continue today even as women make strides in other tech fields.

In official policy decisions, studies of space biology, and science fiction published before, during, and after the Cold War, women’s most valued role in space remains that of mother—as reproducers of humans and human culture. This civic role for women has persisted particularly in American culture, from the days of Anglo settlement of the western frontier to the final frontier. This talk will explore the history of this persistent phenomenon."

Where: A big thanks to Bendyworks for hosting us!

When: We'll have socializing/networking from 5:30pm to 6pm (feel free to arrive anytime within that half hour); Lisa's presentation will start at 6pm.

About Lisa:

Dr. Lisa Ruth Rand earned her PhD from the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. Her research plumbs the intersections of the histories of science, technology, and the environment during the Cold War, with a focus on mobile waste and contingent constructions of nature and sustainability.

In addition to the environmental history of outer space, she has also written about gender in American aerospace culture and performances of scientific practice at Earth analog habitats.

Rand's research has been supported by fellowships from NASA, the Society for the History of Technology, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Penn Humanities Forum, and the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine.

She is a Research Associate in the Department of Space History at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, an Adjunct Research Associate at the RAND Corporation, and a volunteer urban astronomy educator. Find out more at (