Sunday, August 23, 2009

Musings on My Granddaughter's Bright Future

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm a typical doting grandfather when it comes to the first of our kid's kids, Kaili. At almost 2 years old, she's a bright, curious, happy girl. And the fact that I don't have any daughters of my own surely doesn't influence my attitude towards her.

Anyway, while listening to a 365 Days of Astronomy podcast recently it occurred to me how lucky Kaili is to live in a time when women can achieve almost anything. The podcast, Women on the Moon, highlighted a number of women who were pioneers in astronomy from Caroline Herschel to Christa McAuliffe. Even though I'm sure there is still a glass ceiling in astronomy and astrophysics, girls who have an interest in science don't have nearly the barriers to success that they had 200, 100 or even 50 years ago.

Not to say that Kaili will show any interest in astronomy (though it won't be from lack of exposure - she'll get to spend plenty of time under the stars with her grandparents as she grows up), but if she does then it's good to know the barriers are lower than they've ever been.

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