Women We Watch: Dr Emma Osborne
Hey Emma! For those who don’t know, what is your job?
I’m an astrophysicist and a science communicator. I recently completed my PhD in theoretical astrophysics, where I researched how neutron stars make gravitational waves by growing mountains. Now I am lucky to work in a job where I get to share my passion and knowledge of physics with others, as a science communicator. I work to make physics accessible to as many people as possible by breaking down stereotypes and challenging common misconceptions about science. I want people from all different backgrounds to feel as though science is something they can access.
How did you know that Astrophysics was the career path for you?
I find trying to understand how the universe works incredibly fascinating. It honestly blows my mind and I love that feeling. I loved learning about space at school and was deeply unsatisfied to learn that science hadn’t yet found the answers to some of my questions. This ignited a desire for me to seek those answers myself. Now it’s been almost 20 years, and I still don’t know why the universe is accelerating as it expands.
Despite this enthusiasm for physics, choosing a career in astrophysics wasn’t always crystal clear to me. I very nearly chose to study a fashion-based degree at uni. It was literally 50-50 at one point! I decided on physics in the end, because I figured I could enjoy fashion as a hobby. I would really struggle to get the understanding of physics I desired without formal education.
What’s your advice for girls who are interested in a STEM career?
I say aim high, don’t be afraid to ask questions and enjoy the journey.
I’ve recently started roller skating and I’m obsessed! It clears my mind, helps me reset, and it's so much fun! Skating is really helping me get through the pandemic. I also love cooking (especially the eating part), and having fun with my dog Rudy.
Who inspires you that we should follow on Instagram?
@chloetaylortech I love Chloe’s unapologetic approach to tackling gender and racial imbalance in the tech industry and her passionate advocacy for STEM education.
@pondlife_pondlife which as the name suggests is all about the microbial life that lives in pond water. I love Sally’s (the scientist behind this account) fun and informative take on the lives of these organisms.
Statement Necklace or Statement Earrings?
Both! I honestly can’t choose. It all depends on the outfit.
Jungle, self-titled album - perfect for coding and roller skating.
Stars or Planets?
Stars, they’re just so much more intense.
Wow, what a superstar! Thanks so much for sitting down for another chat with us, we might switch the jewellery for science!
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