Laura's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Team BNE

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Los Angeles, CA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 9

  • ON DVD:

LAURA DANLY

Astronomer/Curator
Griffith Observatory

“Every day of your life, you have the right to choose what you will accept and what you won't accept. And that's the craft and art of making your own life.”

INTERESTS:

Environment & Nature Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Courage Fear Perseverance Pressure Fulfillment Transitions Choices Values Confidence

FOUNDATION:

Learning / Challenging Myself

TAGS:

art, astronomy, being scared, changing, feeling invisible, female, gender, grad school, Hubble telescope, invisibility, NASA, other side, people, physics, planetarium, rejection, science, space, starting over, travel

BIOGRAPHY:

  • For as long as she can remember, she wanted to study space; studied physics and got a Ph.D. in astronomy.
  • Worked as a postdoc at NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute.
  • Says that as a young female scientist, she often felt invisible, and she felt a lot of self-doubt.
  • But time and time again, her grades would best the boys in her classes, so she slowly gained confidence.
  • Took a huge leap leaving NASA-working for them had always been her dream, but she'd stagnated there.
  • Quit and spent some time traveling around India and Nepal; taking this break gave her more clarity about what she wanted to do with her life.
  • Says she's "restarted" her life half a dozen times; urges road-trippers to make changes if they reach a place where they're unhappy.
  • Believes that if you're scared about taking a big leap, you usually just need to take a deep breath and "jump out of the plane."

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