Facts So Romantic

What It’s Like to Be a Female Gravity Wave Hunter

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Chiara Mingarelli can count herself as a successful scientist. She is a Marie Curie Fellow at Caltech, and a former visiting scholar at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her area of research, hunting for gravitational waves using distant stars, is at one of the forefronts of cosmology. Her scientific work has been cited in nearly 1,000 academic papers, and she is involved in a variety of public outreach efforts.

All of this has taken a good amount of effort. But, in this video interview, Mingarelli makes clear that some of the biggest challenges she’s faced in her career have stemmed from the simple fact that she’s a woman in a male-dominated field. They range from dealing with unwanted advances to the fact that male scientists, due to an implicit bias, are taken more seriously—a bias that Mingarelli says even she herself has.


Our full interview with Mingarelli can be found here.


Susie Neilson is an editorial fellow at Nautilus. Follow her on Twitter @schmeilson.


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