Astronaut Mae Jemison on interstellar travel: ‘We can’t do this with just half the population’

Astronaut Mae Jemison on interstellar travel: ‘We can’t do this with just half the population’

At the MAKERS Conference on women leadership this week, Google[x] VP Megan Smith, astronauts Cady Coleman and Mae Jemison and Harvey Mudd President Maria Klawe took the stage to discuss the importance of increasing the number of women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

Jemison, who is the first African-American woman to go to space, emphasized that, as women become a greater part of STEM education and industries, it’s important for women to be in the room “helping to make the choices.”

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She talked about her involvement with the 100 Year Starship project, which aims to send humans on an interstellar journey in the next 100 years, and how an endeavor of that magnitude must be a team effort.

“We can’t do this with just half the population,” she said.

Jemison continued with a quote from authors Will and Ariel Durant: “The future never just happened. It was created.”

“We have an opportunity to create the future and decide what that’s like,” Jemison added.

Headline image credit: Ye Aung Thu / AFP / Getty Images

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