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hubble's crew


Click on a question below to hear the response as a RealVideo clip.

What do you do?

What is it like being a woman in a male dominated field?



Dr. Megan Donahoe
Archive Astronomer

When you hear Megan complaining about being really busy, you'll also hear her tell you it's her own fault. She's got two jobs -- her "day job" is maintaining the scientific integrity of NASA's archive and making it available to the public. Her other job is studying galaxy clusters, looking into the geometry and structure of space for clues to the beginning of the universe.

CDs of astronomical data

Megan feels lucky that she gets to decide the focus of her own research. People she meets are always interested in the universe and how it came to be. "I think they just have some sort of primal connection to it," she says.

As a female in a male-dominated field, Megan notices that there's a lot more opportunities for women in astronomy now than there were 50 years ago. Still, she is aware of subtle messages that keep bright women doubting themselves. "The people who are in this business are very smart and very competitive," she says. "Sometimes women tell themselves that they shouldn't go on."


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