Starting on Tuesday evening, the three-day installation, called “Unseen Stars,” will project the faces of distinguished female scientists onto the ceiling. Notable lights will include Mildred Dresselhaus, the “queen of carbon,” and the first woman to receive the National Medal of Science in engineering. Dresselhaus died in February.
Other scientists featured include Laurie Leshin, a geochemist who has searched for life on Mars; Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski, a quantum gravity researcher; and GE scientist Danielle Merfeld, an engineer who helps machines talk to each other. In total there will be 12 female scientists and engineers reshaping the constellations from Sept. 19 through Sept. 21.
The ceiling of the main hall in Grand Central Terminal is already painted with stars and constellations. This week, 12 new constellations — the images of 12 prominent female scientists — will be projected on the painting.
The installation, called “Unseen Stars,” is a program funded by GE.
“We wanted to create a new universe for commuters to imagine, one where the uncelebrated are celebrated and the achievements of remarkable women are elevated to new heights,” Linda Boff, GE’s chief marketing officer, said in a prepared release.
The installation will be at Grand Central Terminal through Sept. 21.
Here is the full list of scientists whose images are being projected onto the terminal’s ceiling, according to GE:
- Mildred Dresselhaus, the “queen of carbon,” and the first woman to receive the National Medal of Science in engineering. Dresselhaus died in February.
- Laurie Leshin, a geochemist who has searched for life on Mars.
- Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski, a quantum gravity researcher.
- Danielle Merfeld, a GE engineer who helps machines talk to each other.
- Hadiyah-Nicole Green, a physicist who created treatments for cancer using lasers and nanotechnology.
- Jess Melbourne-Thomas, a marine ecologist who led an all-woman voyage to Antarctica to address climate change.
- Sossina Haile, a materials engineer who invented solid acid fuel cells for clean energy.
- Megan Smith, the first female chief technology officer of the United States.
- Neri Oxman, an MIT professor who pioneered the field of material ecology.
- Kira Radinsky, inventor of an algorithm to predict global incidents and disasters.
- Sudha Maniam, an engineer who helped doctors see the brain in new ways.
- Vera Cooper Rubin, an astronomer who discovered evidence of dark matter.
This celebration of women working in science and technology dovetails with GE’s commitment to increase the number of women employed in technical positions by 2020. In addition to internal goals, GE also wants to publicly celebrate influential female scientists and engineers, and support organizations like the Society of Women Engineers, in an effort to encourage more young women to consider careers in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — fields.