Women in STEM received outstanding recognition in 2020

2020 has been an excellent year for recognizing women’s achievements in science and engineering. Here are some of the most anticipated nods of the year to women who have made science history.

Vera C. Rubin Observatory

The National Science Foundation began the year by naming a future ground-based observatory after astronomer Vera Rubin. The telescope, under construction, had previously been called the Large Synoptic Probing Telescope (LSST).

At a January event announcing the name, physicist Kathy Turner, program manager in the Department of Energy’s Office of High Energy Physics, told reporters that reading as a college student about Rubin’s work, he learned it. that “yes, science is an area that women have the right to be in and a right to pursue and we should not take it for granted. “

Rubin discovered the first evidence of dark matter in the 1970s, when he observed that the galaxies he observed seemed to rotate as if they had much more mass than astronomers could see. Decades later, one of the main research goals of the Rubin Observatory will be to gather more data to help physicists figure out how dark matter fits into the structure of the universe. That work and other observations at the new facility in Chile are expected to begin in November 2021.

Roman space telescope Nancy Grace

NASA announced in May that the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope will be named after the agency’s first chief astronomer, who played an instrumental role in making Hubble a reality: Nancy Grace Roman.

“Because of the leadership and vision of Nancy Grace Roman, NASA pioneered astrophysics and launched Hubble, the world’s most powerful and productive space telescope,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a press release.

Prior to the announcement, the Roman Space Telescope had been officially known as the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope or WFIRST. NASA plans to launch it by 2025.

Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters

In June, NASA renamed its headquarters in Washington, DC, in honor of mathematician and engineer Mary Jackson, whose 27 years at NASA helped the agency design better, safer, faster aircraft and pave the way for manned spaceflight.

“NASA facilities across the country are named after people who have dedicated their lives to pushing the boundaries of the aerospace industry,” Bridenstine said in a press release. “Mary W. Jackson was part of a very important group of women who helped NASA bring American astronauts into space.”

Jackson joined NASA in 1951, when the agency was still called NACA, and the workplace was strictly separate from race and gender. Defying these barriers, Jackson became the agency’s first black engineer, wrote several research reports, and conducted experiments in NASA’s supersonic wind tunnel.