Space4U Podcast: Laura Gehl – Children’s Book Author
Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team
In this episode:
We meet children’s author and neuroscientist Dr. Laura Gehl, who’s written a biography of Dr. Nancy Grace Roman, the “Mother of Hubble.” Titled Always Looking Up: Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer, the book tells the inspiring story of Nancy Grace Roman who overcame weak eyesight and gender discrimination to become Chief of Astronomy at NASA and lead the team that built the Hubble Space Telescope.
In addition to Always Looking Up, Laura has published a series of books introducing babies to scientific careers. Baby Astronaut was released in 2019.
In addition to being a prolific children’s book author with seven books from major publishers in 2019 alone, Laura Gehl is the mother of four and has a Ph.D. in neuroscience.
Laura tells us what it is like transitioning from a neuroscientist to a children’s book author, and how she chooses the topics and themes of her books, including the story of how Always Looking Up came to be. The idea was a suggestion from former Space4U podcast guest, Stephen Garber!
Laura also shares what it was like working with Dr. Roman. In the course of their conversations, Dr. Roman shared much of her schoolwork, including an essay on Galileo, an essay on the Moon, and a perfect score on a math test. These endearing elements helped to shape the book into a story children can relate to. Nancy Grace was told that math and science were “masculine” subjects, that calculations and facts were best left to men, and she should study literature or history instead.
We hear about Laura’s love of science and the first-ever science fair at Casablanca American School in Morocco, organized by Laura. Hear all this and more in this episode of Space4U.