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.
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
“Science provides an understanding of a universal experience. Arts provide a universal understanding of a personal experience.”
“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.”