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Erin Macdonald

"When I was working in LIGO, I was struggling as most PhDs do, and watching a lot of Star Trek. I fell in love with Captain Kathryn Janeway. Like Dana Scully when I was younger, Captain Janeway was everything I knew I wanted to be. Through the show, this fictional character became a mentor to me. Any time I thought about giving up, or was feeling homesick, or wondering if I was capable of finishing, I would think about Captain Janeway and she gave me that drive I needed to keep going. That was also when I really understood the power of Star Trek, and how it is able to inspire and encourage people. I started applying my work in general relativity to Star Trek and since leaving LIGO, began teaching at sci-fi conventions on the science behind science fiction, using movies and television shows to teach complex scientific ideas. This led to me really having an understanding of the balance between science and storytelling and for the last two years I've been living in Los Angeles w…

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