Three generations of female astrophysicists met at the Tec Science Summit

Susana Lizano, astrophysicist and president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, spoke with Carolina Rodríguez and Alejandra Rodríguez about their shared passion for learning about the universe.
three women sitting on a panel
"Astronomy is a science that inspires humanity," said Susana Lizano. (Photo: Alejandro Salazar / TecScience)

In the Plenary Hall of the Tec de Monterrey Congress Center, three generations of female astrophysicists met on the first day of the Tec Science Summit 2023, to talk about their love for astronomy and what it means to be a woman in science.

During the first part of the session, Susana Lizano Soberón, founder astrophysicist of the Institute of Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and current president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences (AMC), gave viewers a tour through the history of astronomy, as well as what we know today about how stars and the planets around them form.

Astronomy is a science that inspires humanity since we can remember,” said Susana Lizano.

At the end of her talk, the researcher was joined by Carolina Rodríguez, who was her student and is now a prominent astrophysicist, director of the Industrial Physics Engineering major at Tec de Monterrey, as well as outstanding student Alejandra Rodríguez to talk about the passion they share for understanding the universe.

Women astrophysicists

Representing three generations of female astrophysicists, they also reflected on what it means to be a woman in science and the progress that is still needed to close the gender gap in STEM careers and encourage women to continue in scientific research. “I believe that the important thing is to never stop moving forward in your dream,” said Susana Lizano.

According to the researcher, the astrophysics field has historically been characterized by having a high proportion of women, around 30% worldwide, compared to 5% in mathematics.

For Carolina Rodríguez, beyond how many men or women are part of it, “astronomy is a joint goal of humanity” and the future of the discipline is very exciting. Susana Lizano envisions that a revolution will come when we find life on other planets and excitedly questions “How will it change our vision of the universe?”

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Inés Gutiérrez Jaber