Pascale Ehrenfreund, president, International Astronautical Federation, urges women to take up study of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects
Pascale Ehrenfreund, president, International Astronautical Federation, has urged women to take up the study of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and become a part of the vibrant space sector.
Prof. Ehrenfreund, who is also president, International Space University, was speaking online at the inauguration of the World Space Week (WSW) celebrations organised jointly by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) units in Thiruvananthapuram. This year’s WSW celebrations has the theme ‘Women in Space.’
Prof. Ehrenfreund said there is a shortfall of students, in particular women, in the study of STEM subjects. ”Science and engineering strongly contribute to innovation that will define the future and what we actually offer the next generation. Women have to play an important role in this development, in particular, in the space sector,” she said.
The evolving space economy is developing a vibrant commercial and public space sector with unprecedented entrepreneurial leadership and private investment, offering students and professionals exciting prospects, she said.
Prof. Ehrenfreund pointed out that the space sector contributes to all of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Chief Secretary V. P. Joy, who inaugurated WSW-2021, underscored the importance of promoting scientific spirit in the society. Even if people possess a scientific background, they tend to approach life with superstition, he said.
S. Somanath, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), presided. V. Narayanan, director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre; Sam Dayala Dev, director of ISRO Inertial Systems Unit; and VSSC Chief Controller Biju Jacob also were present.
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