March 21, 2023 11:10 pm
  • By Jennifer Harby
  • BBC News

six minutes ago

Image supply, University of Leicester

Image caption,

Naomi met Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock on her check out to Leicester

A lady who is functioning at Nasa has spoken of how inspired she was by the appointment of Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock as her former university’s chancellor.

Naomi Rowe-Gurney, 32, a former student at the university, stated she had been inspired by Dr Aderin-Pocock’s profession.

“I could not think a black lady was on Television speaking about space science,” she stated.

Dr Rowe-Gurney, who is initially from Newbury in Hampshire, is on a two-year contract as a post-doctoral analysis scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Washington.

Image supply, Naomi Rowe-Gurney

Image caption,

Dr Rowe-Gurney stated it was her dream to operate to Nasa

She stated she had been “in appreciate” with space science from an early age immediately after a college trip to the London Planetarium.

“When I discovered out about space, I was about 5 years old,” she stated.

“When I realised we’re on just 1 planet out of quite a few planets and rotating about a star, it all just, you know, type of blew my tiny small thoughts.

“Ever because then I was definitely interested in deep space and black holes in cosmology, just before I moved into planetary science.”

Image supply, Naomi Rowe-Gurney

Image caption,

Dr Rowe-Gurney stated she had normally loved science

She stated that, as a black girl who loved science, coming across Dr Aderin-Pocock presenting the BBC’s The Sky At Evening had been “incredible”.

“It was definitely an inspiration to see her there, and then I got the likelihood to meet her as properly, in Leicester, when she was filming 1 of her episodes and, like a correct nerd, I asked her to sign my calculator,” she stated.

“I’ve nevertheless got it someplace and I treasure it.”

She stated she had also been inspired by pals and household members when she was developing up, such as 1 of her aunts who had accomplished a physics degree.

“I had a lot of function models developing up,” she stated. “So that was a true essential aspect in my good results.”

She stated that though she had discovered the US extremely diverse, Nasa itself was much less so but she was becoming mentored by senior black colleagues.

Image supply, Naomi Rowe-Gurney

Image caption,

Dr Rowe-Gurney stated her household had also inspired her profession

“That is type of the explanation why I came to Nasa,” she stated. “You consider of black girls pioneers like in the film Hidden Figures, which is 1 of my favourite motion pictures.

“I am assisting all the scientists who appear at planetary systems, so not just atmospheres, but surfaces, moons and rings.”

She stated it had been her dream to operate at the space agency and arrived there in October 2021, immediately after finishing a PhD at Leicester, in the course of which she studied the atmospheres of Neptune and Uranus.

She is due to return to the UK in October and she stated she was seeking forward to seeing her household.

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