Aomawa Shields on Searching For Life in Space, and at Home

at 10:00 AM
Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

On the left is an image of a Black woman with short, dark hair. She's smiling and is standing with her hands behind her back. On the right is the cover art on a book. The background is white and there are two overlapping colorful circles. The title reads "Life on Other Planets"
Author, Dr. Aowama Shields (Steven Meckler)

Does it matter if life exists on another planet? To UC Irvine astrobiologist Aomawa Shields it matters in the same way that a mountain matters and screams to be climbed: not knowing is unbearable. Shields has devoted her career to studying the climate and habitability of exoplanets to further the search for extraterrestrial life. She’s also one of very few Black women in a field dominated by white men and a classically trained actor. We talk to her about her journey as a scientist and an artist and her new book “Life on Other Planets: A Memoir of Finding My Place in the Universe.”


Dr. Aomawa Shields, Clare Boothe Luce associate professor of physics and astronomy, UC Irvine; author, "Life on Other Planets: A Memoir of Finding My Place in the Universe"