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10-22-2009

Clarkson Professor Liya Regel in Rome for Women and Space Congress

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/accademia.jpg.]

Last week, Clarkson University Distinguished Research Professor Liya Regel returned from a special congress in Rome, "Women and Space," which was organized by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei under the patronage of the president of the Republic of Italy and the Space Agency of Italy.

The congress was sponsored by many Italian organizations and inspired by the United Nations designation of 2009 as the International Astronomical Year. "Women and Space" brought together some of the most brilliant and famous women working in space science, space missions, astrophysics and space literature. accademia

The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei was founded in 1603 and is the oldest scientific academy in the world. Among its Fellows there are prestigious names such as Galileo Galilei. It was 400 years ago that Galileo from Pisa first pointed his telescope to the sky. Among his discoveries were the craters of the moon, the phases of Venus, the satellites of Jupiter (Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto), and the rings of Saturn. Galileo thus started the era of astronomical observations, which brought humankind to explore the solar system and the universe.

"Women and Space" took place on October 8 in a special auditorium with only 150 seats from the time of Galileo and now, in Palazzo Corsini, a historical building in the oldest part of Rome and the home of Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Regel said that she was honored and felt lucky to have been invited as a guest for this magnificent and unusual meeting.

Regel said that she was impressed by all of the speakers, particularly by the inspiring lecture of Pamela Ann Melroy, astronaut and first woman commander of the Space Shuttle, who spoke on "Human Spaceflight - Shuttle, International Space Station, and Beyond to the Moon."

World-known astrophysicist Amalia Ercoli Finzi (Polytechnic di Milano) spoke on "Mars, a Planet to be Discovered." Vera Rubin (Carnegie University), famed for many discoveries including galaxy rotation rates, lectured on "Women, Galaxies, and the Universe." And the famous Margarita Hack (Universite di Trieste), the first astronomer woman in Italy, spoke about "Ultraviolet Stellar Spectroscopy."

The congress was coordinated by Dava Sobel, the very successful former science reporter at the New York Times and author of many books, including "Longitude," "Galileo's Daughter" and others.

The organizing committee of the congress was made up of four women, three from the mathematics department of the University of Roma Tor Vergata (Alessandra Celletti, Velleda Baldoni and Elisabetta Strickland), and Angioletta Coradini from the Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI) Rome / Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF).

Regel said that together they made "Women and Space" unforgettable and inspiring.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Last week, Clarkson University Distinguished Research Professor Liya Regel returned from a special congress in Rome, "Women and Space," which was organized by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei under the patronage of the president of the Republic of Italy and the Space Agency of Italy. Pictured above is the Accademia.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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