Mar 20, 2012

Meet My Astrophysicist Friend

Conversations with astrophysicists... More fun when they are Filipina!

March is Women's month, I am a woman, I have a daughter, we are Filipinas, so please excuse me if I cross-post to this Pinay-power profile I did for Rappler.

Reinabelle Reyes was the first scientist to prove Einstein's Theory of General Relativity beyond our solar system. She did that when she was 26. Her research was published in Nature, the world's premiere and most discriminating science journal. That is The Journal that published Einstein's very own theories and now look, this Filipina astrophysicist is published there too—decades later, showing proof of concept for one of Einstein's master works.

Someone actually paid me to have a conversation with Reina Reyes and write about her groundbreaking research. Thank you, Universe. On top of that, we are set to collaborate on "something digital" which is all I can say for now. Sweet.

So this is Reina in a nutshell: Kavli Cosmological Institute Fellow. In the process of figuring out the exact recipe for making a galaxy. In the forefront of figuring out Dark Energy, which is oh, the next great leap for Science. Could win a Nobel. Graduated summa cum laude BS Physics Ateneo. Astrophysics PhD obtained from Princeton. Won the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Award for discovering a hidden quasar. She was just a student when she found the quasar. And oh, it's the kind of discovery that requires altering and updating science books. 

A little take away for us parents… Her mother and father never pressured her to get high grades. They just encouraged her to do her best, got her books and let her use the computer for fun and to learn stuff. No Tiger Mom behind this achiever.

I love that she wants to help change K12 education in the Philippines. She believes most of our schools need major reforms. We could have gone on and on talking about this issue alone. She herself went to Philippine Science School. She loved it there, because "they emphasized analytical thinking over memorizing cold facts." The thing is, more Filipino children need to be getting that kind of hands on, experiential education… not just Pisay scholars and kids who go to expensive private schools.


Reina will soon be launching an infographics blog on Rappler. Have us on your news feed yet? Rappler is about "inspiring smart conversations" according to our tagline. I'd like to add, controversial conversations. TanginaThis hot topic: Reina claiming she is an atheist. Interesting.


Barni said...

Too bad this woman is abroad. She would be perfect for the video series! Blown away by her achievement at such a young age.

Nona said...

We can still collaborate. It's a digital world : ) She is easily the coolest person I've met this year. Next time she's in town, I'm taking her to give the Keys kids a meet and greet. She's so game!

valeriesummers said...

i will certainly look forward to her post. i love rappler and their articles. i bookmarked on article on them