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Talk by Emily Levesque

A bird that mimicked a black hole. The astronomer that discovered microwave ovens. A telescope that can fly. The science of astronomy is filled with true stories (and tall tales) of the adventures and misadventures that accompany our exploration of the universe. Join Dr. Emily Levesque, author of the critically-acclaimed popular science book The Last Stargazers, to take a behind-the-scenes tour of life as a professional astronomer. We’ll learn about some of the most powerful telescopes in the world, meet the people who run them, and explore the crucial role of human curiosity in the past, present, and future of scientific discovery.

Emily Levesque is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. Her work explores how the most massive stars in the universe evolve and die. She has observed for upwards of fifty nights on many of the planet’s largest telescopes and flown over the Antarctic stratosphere in an experimental aircraft for her research. She is currently a 2022-2023 Fulbright U.S. Scholar and a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, and her book, The Last Stargazers, was shortlisted for the 2021 Royal Society Science Book prize. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from MIT and a PhD in astronomy from the University of Hawaii.