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The Astronomer Who’d Rather Build Space Cameras

Jim Gunn shaped the theory of the evolution of the cosmos before building cameras and spectrographs for major observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope.

PHOTO: Sarah Hörst in her lab at JHU
Q&A

The Scientist Who Cooks Up the Skies of Faraway Worlds

Astronomers will soon take their first glance at the atmosphere of a distant exoplanet. Sarah Hörst is writing the guidebook for these exoplanetary explorers, one that will reveal what a distinctive atmosphere says about the world underneath.

Q&A

She Finds Clues to Future Sustainability in Old Food Webs

By reconstructing prehistoric food webs and analyzing the diverse interactions of humans with other species, the ecologist Jennifer Dunne is developing a new understanding of sustainability through network science.

Q&A

Doudna’s Confidence in CRISPR’s Research Potential Burns Bright

Jennifer Doudna, one of CRISPR’s primary innovators, stays optimistic about how the gene-editing tool will continue to empower basic biological understanding.

Photo of Priya Natarajan
Q&A

An Astrophysicist Who Maps the Universe’s Terra Incognita

Priyamvada Natarajan has pioneered the mapping and modeling of the universe’s invisible contents, especially dark matter and supermassive black holes.

Portrait of Carolina Araujo at IMPA in Brazil
Q&A

A Movement to Close the Gender Gap in Mathematics

The Brazilian mathematician Carolina Araujo, who calls herself “a bit of an anarchist,” is organizing meetings and building a support network to study and solve the problems women face in mathematics.

Photo of Been Kim
Q&A

A New Approach to Understanding How Machines Think

Neural networks are famously incomprehensible, so Been Kim is developing a “translator for humans.”

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The Woman Who Gets Called When a Piece of Mars Falls From the Sky

Planetary geologist Meenakshi Wadhwa uses Martian meteorites to trace the history of our solar system.

Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, at his home in Cambridge, England.
Q&A

On the Best Use of Science to Safeguard Humanity

For 50 years, the astrophysicist Martin Rees has contributed to our understanding of cosmology. Now he is speaking up about the promise and potential dangers of the science and technology that will arrive over the next 50 years and beyond.