Dr. Rabiah Mayas was honored as April’s Scientist of the Month by the Chicago chapter of the Association for Women in Science. I had the pleasure of interviewing her. We met in her office at the Museum of Science and Industry, high above the exhibits of tornadoes, chick hatcheries, and a German U-boat, to discuss her career and her love of science.
I couldn’t fit everything into the profile article; here are some more interesting nuggets that I learned along the way:
- A Post-It-filled “Crazy Idea List” hangs on the wall outside her office, the result of a brainstorming session with her team at MSI.
- The Fab Lab has a laser cutter where participants can make their own jewelry and holiday ornaments.
- Rabiah manages an NSF-funded project, “The Art of Science Learning,” in which participants attend workshops on sculpture, jazz improvisation, and juggling. The goal of the project is to see if arts-based training increases scientific creativity.
- MSI doesn’t house an active science research program on site, unlike other Chicago museums such as the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum.
- The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft recently awoke after a 31 month hibernation on its way out to analyze a comet.
Is there somebody who you think deserves to be nominated for a Scientist of the Month award by AWIS-Chicago? Please let me know about a deserving individual who “promotes the advancement of women in the fields of science, technology and engineering (STEM).”