Ainissa RamirezMaterials Scientist, Steve Wilson Fellow
2017 STEVE WILSON FELLOW Ramirez is passionate about getting the general public excited about science. Before taking on the mission of “making science fun,” she obtained her PhD in materials science from Stanford University, was a mechanical engineering professor at Yale University, and a staff scientist at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, where she garnered 6 patents. In 2003, MIT’s Technology Review named Ramirez as one of “The World’s 100 Top Young Innovators.” Today, she is best known as one of the nation’s foremost science communicators—a “science evangelist.” She has appeared as a science expert on CBS News, CNN, NPR, ESPN, and PBS’s NOVA and SciTechNow. Ramirez is the author of Newton’s Football (Random House) and Save Our Science (TED Books), and the host of a science podcast for kids (Science Underground). She has written for Time, Discover, Forbes, Scientific American, and The Huffington Post and has served as a science adviser to the American Film Institute (AFI) and the Exploratorium. In 2012, she gave an impassioned TED talk on the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. She was awarded the 2015 Gemant award – the highest science communication award of the American Institute of Physics – for her work in making science understandable to general audiences. Currently, she is writing a book for MIT Press on the role of materials in history and she lectures widely on science and education.