|Previous portrait||Dr. Kelsey Johnson
Associate Professor, Astronomy
College & Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
WHAT DOES A SCIENTIST LOOK LIKE?
In 2014, Dr. Johnson discovered the birth environment of stars—a globular cluster 50 million light years away; stars about to be born. This major scientific discovery received a large amount of press from the mainstream media. However, the mainstream media changed Dr. Johnson’s gender from “she” to “he”. Dr. Johnson’s experience vividly represents the gender bias and discrimination that permeates not only STEM fields but the general public’s understanding of who a scientist is and what they look like. Read her Editorial about being “an outsider” in science, That Lab Coat Looks Good on You. Visit Dr. Johnson’s lab, see the globular cluster, and learn more about her research on star formation.
Dr. Johnson is a strong advocate for girls’ STEM education and science literacy among school children. She runs the Dark Skies, Bright Kids astronomy club in local schools, and the UVA-Wise STEM-H program for girls.
The STEM-H program lets girls imagine the scientists they can become and works to keep middle school girls interested in science at a time when research shows they drop out of science and math due to self-esteem and gender stereotyping.
Visit Dr. Johnson’s lab, see the globular cluster, and learn more about her research on star formation.
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