Nasa’s new science chief Nicola Fox: ‘I grew up starstruck by space’

Raised in Hertfordshire and encouraged to think big from an early age, Fox is only second woman to hold the post

Women should never be afraid to ask questions, says Nicola Fox, Nasa’s new science chief and only the second woman to hold this position in the agency’s history. In her view, being curious and having a ton of questions are the hallmarks of a successful scientist – even if asking them can feel intimidating.

“Sometimes you feel if you’re the only woman in the room that you probably shouldn’t speak up, because everybody might think you’re stupid. But I’ve worked really hard on trying to tell people that there are no stupid questions – most of the time if you speak up, at least 30% of the people in the room will have the same question and weren’t brave enough to ask it.”

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