Mae Jemison

Astronaut
In 1992, Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to go into space. She's become a crusader for science education — and for a new vision of learning that combines arts and sciences, intuition and logic.

Why you should listen

Mae Jemison is a poster child for an education that combines arts and sciences. As she says, "I always knew I'd go to space." Trained as an engineer, Jemison is a medical doctor, and she practiced in LA before becoming the Peace Corps' Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia. While running that effort, she researched Hepatitis B, schistosomaisis and rabies with the CDC and NIH.

Back in the US, she'd returned to her California practice when selected in 1987 for NASA's astronaut program. She was the science mission specialist on STS-47 Spacelab-J (September 12-20, 1992), a cooperative mission between the United States and Japan. From NASA's factsheet: "The eight-day mission was accomplished in 127 orbits of the Earth, and included 44 Japanese and U.S. life science and materials processing experiments. Dr. Jemison was a co-investigator on the bone cell research experiment flown on the mission. The Endeavour and her crew launched from and returned to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In completing her first space flight, Dr. Jemison logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, 23 seconds in space."

In 1994, Jemison founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, which runs an internationally-known science camp called The Earth We Share. She also founded BioSentient Corp. to explore bringing NASA biofeedback technology to public market. Jemison is also the first real astronaut to appear on Star Trek

Mae Jemison’s TED talks

Mae Jemison on the TED Blog

The week in comments

May 9, 2009

This week’s comment round-up is a tribute to TED.com’s spiffy new commenting system, that lets you rate others’ statements up or down and have threaded conversations! Rather than using our own editorial tastes to select comments, today we’ve let you, the community, pick your top 5. Here are the highest rated comments on each talk […]

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Quotes from Mae Jemison

Science provides an understanding of a universal experience. Arts provide a universal understanding of a personal experience.
Mae Jemison
TED2002 • 506K views May 2009
Inspiring, Persuasive
The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin even, or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.
Mae Jemison
TED2002 • 506K views May 2009
Inspiring, Persuasive