Who Says Science Movies Don’t Matter?

When I was 12, my father took me to The Children’s Museum in Mexico City to see a movie that I remember as Planets, Moons and Stars. It was unlike any movie I had seen before. There were no good and bad guys or furry animals — just colorful spheres rotating around a ball of fire against an empty black background. My heart filled with joy. I dreamed of flying into outer space, of becoming an astronaut and exploring that dark space myself. I still remember the excitement I felt when we left the movie theater, and how I peppered my father with questions about the Solar System and the Universe on the way home.

My interest in science was endearing at 12, but at 16 it was viewed as a waste of time. When I confessed to my parents and teachers in high school that I wanted to study math and physics at university, my dreams were met with disapproval. I was told those careers were too hard for women and I should study something more appropriate like communications or marketing.

I didn’t have any professional female role models to turn to for advice and support, so eventually I gave in to the pressure around me. In my first two years at the Iberoamericana University, I studied philosophy. I thought I could sublimate my desire to understand the natural world by tackling philosophical questions about human existence. But the more I tried to hide my love for math and physics, the more intensely I would hear an inner voice clamoring for science.

Eventually, the tension between what I was doing and what I wanted to do became too great. Behind my parents’ back, I applied to American universities because a friend told me that, “in the U.S., you can —> Read More