LSC to honor cosmic cartographer Priyamvada Natarajan at Genius Gala 10

LSC News

Liberty Science Center’s Genius Gala 10, an annual celebration of science and creativity, will take place on May 2, 2022!

One of our honorees this year is cosmic cartographer Priyamvada Natarajan. Dr. Natarajan is a professor of astronomy and physics at Yale University. She maps the unseen universe—invisible entities like dark matter, black holes, and dark energy—whose prodigious presence can only be indirectly inferred from observational data.

In 1999, while a graduate student at Cambridge University, Natarajan predicted the existence of a new kind of object in the universe: cosmic winds that were driven thousands of light years by black holes. Two decades later, in 2019, radio astronomers detected the very cosmic winds that she had predicted. Other fundamental predictions of hers—for example, that black holes have a self-regulating mechanism keeping them from becoming overly massive—have also proven to be correct. Born in Coimbatore, India, Natarajan is the author of the popular book Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos.

She is also a poet, a builder of bridges between scientists and humanists, and a champion of K-12 students “learning science by doing science”—the same pedagogical philosophy that underlies LSC’s STEM education programs.

Click here to learn more about our 10th anniversary of the Genius Gala.

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