Mathieu Isidro

public information officer, European Southern Observatory
Santiago, Chile

About Mathieu

Bio

A globetrotter and curious by nature, discovering TED was only a matter of time. I'm passionate about astronomy, travel, languages and cultures. Born in the Pacific, raised between France and Australia, I've lived and studied across Europe focusing on languages, translation, and working in multicultural environments. I've been blessed with the opportunity to travel extensively and work combining my passion and my skills. I now work for a European astronomy organisation in Chile as an outreach officer, promoting astronomy and sharing the wonders of the universe with the public.

Languages

English, French, Spanish

Areas of Expertise

Astronomy and Space, French Language, English language, Translation & Interpretation

I'm passionate about

I'm passionate about space and astronomy, science and technology in general, international relations, jazz, sports, culture, food, wine, and travels.

Talk to me about

Astronomy and space are definitely my favorite topics. Anything involving my passions is also very welcome, I love to engage and exchange experience and debate about views and opinions.

My TED story

My TED story started back in July 2010 with Jeff Bezos' inspiring talk on "What matters more than your talents". I watched and listened to his speech to Princeton graduates, letting every word sink in and make sense in my mind, thinking this was a great speech. Craving for more, I started watching other speeches, about politics, technology, science, psychology and found almost every single one of them to be interesting, if not totally fascinating and mind-opening, even in fields I never thought I'd be interested in.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

127090
Mathieu Isidro
Posted about 3 years ago
Is Astronomy the mother of all natural sciences?
Josh, thanks a lot for your clear answer. I totally agree with it. "Mother" was probably not the best term and indeed that would be maths as it is the basis of all others. Astronomy is definitely not the origin of other sciences. But it seems there is an evolution towards a trend where astronomy involves most other fields, so "culmination" might be a better choice like you said. To me it's really interesting to see all these fields merge in astronomy.
127090
Mathieu Isidro
Posted about 3 years ago
Is Astronomy the mother of all natural sciences?
Don, I'm fascinated by ancient astronomy, and how Babylonians, Persians, and others contributed to our knowledge of astronomy. I feel like there's a general trend to look down on this heritage, feeling we are so sophisticated and so clever now with our technology, but their work was groundbreaking! For example we often forget a lot of stars have arabic names...the history of astronomy is fantastic!
127090
Mathieu Isidro
Posted about 3 years ago
Is Astronomy the mother of all natural sciences?
Indeed Edward it's a sum of theories that try to explain the Universe - and there is no single verified explanation although there are leading theories. It's a work in progress...Personally I have a hard time believing in strings and other universes but that is another topic altogether!
127090
Mathieu Isidro
Posted about 3 years ago
Is Astronomy the mother of all natural sciences?
Definitely not. My point is not that all astronomers know all fields of sciences like specialists do, but that within astronomy, most other fields of science are included and are in fact needed for a complete understanding of the cosmos. You have astronomers who specialize in chemistry, some who master biology, some who specialize in physics, and others, like cosmologists, who specialize in physics and maths. But all share, I think, at least a working understanding of physics and maths. Using a metaphor, individual fields of science are like pieces of a puzzle which, once completed, explains the Universe, and that is what astronomy is.
127090
Mathieu Isidro
Posted about 3 years ago
What inspires loyalty within the organizations you work with?
Fascinating question! In some places I've felt it and in others not. My experience has been that loyalty from an employee to his organization comes from many different factors. Respect for one's colleagues who must be competent/ethical, and the same goes for one's boss. From the management: space to be heard (respected), autonomy in one's daily work and the liberty to be creative and make some decisions, and this requires trust. And most of all, I think, the feeling that one is making a difference through his organisation. In that sense, I have a hard time believing you can feel this when working in the private sector in a profit-making organisation, although some companies are obviously better than others (The usual example being Google, Apple, etc.). It seems to me this loyalty is easier to feel if you work for international organizations, NGOs, etc. where you feel you are taking part in something that is bigger than you. Cheers!
127090
Mathieu Isidro
Posted about 3 years ago
Is Astronomy the mother of all natural sciences?
Dear Edward. Thank you for your reply. I actually had not thought about theology, and this is a valid point, but isn't theology more focused on studying and comparing religions from a scientific point of view? In that sense it's almost more similar to sociology and anthropology. But when it comes to explaining the Universe (in it's physical sense), my argument is that maths alone can't do it, physics neither, nor can chemistry, etc. hence one needs a combination of all these, and that is astronomy.
127090
Mathieu Isidro
Posted about 3 years ago
Is Astronomy the mother of all natural sciences?
Hi Adam, thanks for your input! I've heard that scale used before, especially by Mathematicians and Physicists ;-). However, astronomy is not in your scale. Is that because you limit it to just physics? My point was there is more into astronomy than just one of those fields of science, it's a sort of mix of those.
127090
Mathieu Isidro
Posted about 3 years ago
ALWAYS LEAVE OFFICE ON TIME !! Do you agree with these or not ??
Hi Shivang, here are some points I disagree with: 1) work is never ending process, you can never finish work. Maybe not, but you can finish TASKS. This is why we sometimes stay later, to finish tasks, either because they are due the next day, but also because "finishing" something gives a sense of satisfaction and closure, hence frees the mind. I'd rather leave 20min later but having finished what I'd started so I can go home and feel free in my head. 4) Life does not mean coming to office, going home and sleeping There is more to a life. you need a time to socialize, entertainment, exercise and relaxation. Dont make your life meaningless. True also. This is why most countries limit the legal amount of time you are supposed to work. in France it's 35, in others it's 40, etc. Of course a lot of people work more than that, but it is up to each and everyone to appreciate how much "free" time they need. You may work a 65h a week, if you know that behind you can work a normal 40h week and go home on time every day. 5) A person who sits in office till late is not a hardworking person, but he/she is a fool who doesn't know how to finish work in simulated time. Beside he is a loser in life who doesn't have personal or social life. Not having a personal or social life does not make you a loser. Depending on your age/ imperatives of life, you can be far from your family, friends, not married yet, widowed, etc. Also some people are lucky enough to work with their passion, hence to people like that, working late is actually not a problem, since they're having fun. You may be working for the greater good, for the community, making a difference, doing something positive, or supporting your family, or simply working hard by moral standard. There are many reasons that can justify sitting in an office till late, and all of the above are, in my opinion, traits of a hardworking person. Cheers!
127090
Mathieu Isidro
Posted over 3 years ago
Lucianne Walkowicz: Look up for a change
Babak Tafreshi is one of ESO's photo ambassadors, he does amazing work. If you want to see similar works from other ambassadors check out this page http://www.eso.org/public/outreach/partnerships/photo-ambassadors.html