Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock studied at Imperial College where she obtained her degree in Physics and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering.
Until recently she worked as a space scientist for Astrium Ltd where she lead the optical instrumentation group. Here she managed large projects making a range of instruments from climate change monitors to sub-system for the James Webb Space Telescope. Maggie has a fellowship at UCL, sponsored by the Science and Technology Facilities Council enabling her do more of the science communication work that she loves. She also does some of this work through her own small company, Science Innovation Ltd. Maggie conducts “Tours of the Universe”, a scheme she set up through the company to engage school children and adults around the world with the wonders of space.
What do you love most about your job?
“We’re pushing this limits of science. We’re seeing what’s possible. Developing satellites and probing the universe—we’re seeing what’s out there. And I love that.”
What’s the most annoying thing about your job?
“The amount of paperwork you need to launch a satellite.”
If you weren’t a scientist, what would you most like to be and why?
“If I wasn’t working in space scientist, these days I think I’d like to be geneticist. Since we’ve worked out what the human genome is made up of, I think there are some amazing things to be discovered.”
What mystery of science would you most like to solve?
“One of things that is currently challenging scientists and astronomers especially is dark matter and dark energy. At the moment, 96 per cent of the universe is missing, and it’d be nice to fill in some of those gaps.
If you could meet one scientist from the past, who would it be and why?
“Galileo because he was into so many amazing things.”
If you got one trip in the TARDIS to go anywhere, where would go and why?
“I would like to go 1000 years into the future. To me, the future looks bright and the future looks technological, and I’d like to see where all our technological advances gets us. Also, I’d like to see what we’ve gotten wrong.”