Simmons Leadership Blog

Live Blog: Signature Dialogue: Exploring the Frontiers of Science and Human Potential


Mae Jemison gives new meaning to the expression "the sky's the limit." In addition to her pioneering role as the first African-American woman to travel in space, she is a successful entrepreneur and a passionate crusader for science education and literacy. In her latest endeavor, she is leading the 100 Year Starship initiative, tackling the massive challenges of innovation and planning to ensure human space travel to another star within the century.As a woman who continues to excel in the traditionally male-dominated realms of science, technology, and medicine, Jemison proves inspiring stories about achieving one's potential.

2:15pm - "In science, we jump the curve as it moves." - intro for Dr. Jemison by a talented Simmons alumna who now works at EMC

2:17pm - Fun fact about space: Astronauts do drink coffee! And so does Dr. Jemison as she begins her talk. Welcome, Dr. Jemison!

2:19pm - "What diffference does it make if you have a place at the table if you act just like everyone else and mind your table manners?" - Dr. Jemison

2:21pm - "I had to learn very early on not to limit myself because of anyone else's limited imagination." - Dr. Jemison

2:24pm - Dr. Jemison talks about her childhood as an artist, actress, and aspiring doll clothes designer...her high school dilemma: To go to NYC and become a dancer or go to medical school: "My mother helped me answer that one."

2:28pm - "People talk about the arts and sciences as if they're totally different things. But the thing is, each area has intuitive and analytical elements." - Dr. Jemison

2:31pm - "All those who would rather be analytical raise their hand. All those who want to be intuitive?" - Dr. Jemison wants to take down this false dichotomy because she believes we need to be both. " The way we jump the curve is by using BOTH sides of our brain.

2:34pm - "Here's the reason why diversity in the sciences is important: it's not just about bodies...It's because today we're at a critical point in history where the best ways forward to meet the demands of human life are not clear...and the output of STEM fields will create that path." - Dr. Jemison 

2:35pm - Clearly the decision to use a combination of minerals to make a bullet instead of a beautiful fireworks display is a personal decision." - Dr. Jemison explains interpretive bias in the sciences to highlight the importance of diversity in the STEM fields

2:37pm - The difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers is that mechanical engineers build weapons and civil egngineers build targets." - Dr. Jemison explains the choices we make when putting knowledge to use.

2:40pm - Dr. Jemison talks about the Mercury 13 a group of women who trained for NASA  in 1961. They paved the way for her, but never had the chance to travel in space themselves.

2:42pm - Dr. Jemison also gives a nod to Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura from Star Trek) and other pioneers who changed perceptions of women's roles in space exploration.

2:47pm - "Issues of human progress have been radically transformed by space exploration. It's engaging and it's part of who we are." - Dr. Jemison

2:48pm - Would you rather have a doctor who's only seen one patient all their lives, or one who's seen a lot and has a basis of comparison?" - Dr. Jemison explains the importance of exploring other planets. 

2:51pm - "We can  sit there and do the same thing, or we can use our experience to do new things." - Dr. Jemison describes jumping the curve to do new work building a global network of research, innovation and outreach taimed at making interstellar flight possible in the next century. 

2:53pm - Dr. Jemison: "We believe that pursuing an extraordinay tomorrow helps us improve lives today."

2:59pm - "Space isn't just for rocket scientists and billionaires...And the journey is designed to enhance life here on earth." - Dr. Jemison








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