October is Filipino American History Month. Today, we’re celebrating the amazing Filipina astrophysicist Reina Reyes!
Raised in the Philippines, Reyes was always fascinated in stars and galaxies, fostered by the gift of a telescope and by visits to the local planetarium.
As a graduate student in Princeton University’s Department of Astrophysics, Reyes would come to be known in news headlines as “the Filipina who proved Einstein right.” How did she earn that title? Through a study of 70,000 galaxies, Reyes and her team proved galaxies were clustered together in exactly the same way predicted decades ago by Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
Reyes returned to the Philippines after her graduate work in New Jersey, and now works as a data scientist. She also continues to share her excitement about science as the host of “Science Says,” a children’s science show in the Philippines.
Her advice for aspiring researchers is “to start early in practicing sharing their work with non-scientists.”
“There are so few of us in the field, so there are fewer opportunities for young people to have personal role models,” Reyes said in an interview with AsianScientist.com “We can address this only by reaching out, even though it may be outside our comfort zones.”
Visit the Filipino American National Historical Society website to learn more about Filipino American History Month.