A new conference ‘Edinburgh Women in Space’ is being held at the end of March and aims to shine a spotlight on talented women and gender minorities across the space sector.
The two-day, online conference on 26-28 March includes keynote speakers Dr Sarah Gallagher, Science Advisor to the President of the Canadian Space Agency, Yvette Hopkins, Executive Vice-President of the Shetland Space Centre, and Sue Horne, Head of Space Exploration at the UK Space Agency (UKSA).
Edinburgh Women in Space is a brand-new, student-organised event aimed at creating a vibrant community of women and gender minorities across the space sector. A varied range of talks, panels, workshops and competitions will allow delegates to explore their passion, as well as offering unique networking opportunities.
Space scientist Dr Gallagher will be speaking about her personal journey in the space sector and looking at what the future of space science holds. Yvette Hopkins will tell the fascinating story of the Shetland Space Centre whilst weaving in her own insights of becoming a strong leader in the space sector.
The third keynote speaker Sue Horne, Head of Space Exploration at UKSA, will be explaining how she transitioned into the space sector from an archaeology background, as well as sharing insights into future UK space exploration missions.
Scottish innovation will feature heavily throughout the conference, with speakers such as Dr. Hina Khan, PamAnderson, Dr Christina Mackaill, Cassandra Mercury and Dr Sonali Mohapatra.
An overarching theme of the conference is to create a thriving space sector with individuals from both technical and non-technical backgrounds. It will therefore feature soft-skill activities as well, including a leadership workshop from Joni D Goodman. Lauren Church will also be hosting a workshop around the topic of an astronaut’s journey, with an emphasis on human physiology.
The conference will also offer delegates a number of panels around the topics of taking action in diversity and inclusion, getting involved in the space sector as a student, and transitioning into the space sector.
Diversity and inclusion panel host, Kristina Tamane, who serves as the Space Business DevelopmentExecutive at the University of Edinburgh, said: “This Women in Space conference is a timely and important opportunity to showcase key female leaders contributing to the full space supply chain.
“Not only have women made a strong impact in space manufacturing but they are also leading the way in space data analysis, running of spaceport infrastructure and performing those essential enabling roles like finance managers and business development. Women make space – and this is just the start!”
During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to gain industry knowledge from front-running companies within the Scottish and global space sectors, alongside conference participants from around the world. Confirmed sponsors include the University of Strathclyde Department of Engineering, the Institute ofPhysics, AstroAgency, Astrosat and the University of Edinburgh’s Student Experiences Grant. The conference’s media partner is ROOM Space Journal.
Christina MacLeod, Founder and Chair of the Edinburgh Women in Space Conference, said: “I am proud of the progress of the conference and excited to share it with the world. I am honoured that so many individuals have volunteered their time and expertise to speak and look forward to promoting their achievements. I hope many more individuals will be inspired, and feel welcomed, to join in on one of the most exciting adventuresthat the UK has to offer - space exploration.”