Mae Jemison Quotes


“The future never just happened. It was created.”

I wanted to be a scientist, but I wanted to go into space. They are not mutually exclusive.

I was a science fiction geek. That lets you know that they come in all sizes and styles, right?

Some people say they feel very small when they think about space. I felt more expansive, very connected to the universe.

I think we know how to do Mars.

 

“I wanted to be a professional dancer for a period of time, and I did a lot of dancing and choreography and got paid for it.”

“The thing that I have done throughout my life is to do the best job that I can and to be me.”

“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”

“Some of the most fun people I know are scientists.”

The really wonderful thing that happened to me when I was in space was this feeling of belonging to the entire universe.

The reality is the majority of us will not get off this planet. So the long run is, some kind of space exploration has to benefit us here on Earth.

The level of confidence women are able to build in women-only groups is important.

“Greatness can be captured in one word: lifestyle. Life is God’s gift to you, style is what you make of it.”

I like to think of ideas as potential energy. They’re really wonderful, but nothing will happen until we risk putting them into action.

The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin even, or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.

We are all tasked to balance and optimize ourselves.

I believe the biggest impediment we have right now with going to Mars is public commitment. More people need to see themselves as a part of space travel; we need to see more inclusiveness.

I’m not somebody who gets teared up or anything, but I still look up at the stars, and it gives me hope, and it gives me energy. I think one of the things that we have to think about it is, we are all a part of this universe.

To survive as a species on this planet, we’re going to have to see ourselves as Earthlings.

“Science provides an understanding of a universal experience, and arts provides a universal understanding of a personal experience.”

“When God made the color purple, God was just showing off.”

“When I’m asked about the relevance to Black people of what I do, I take that as an affront. It presupposes that Black people have never been involved in exploring the heavens, but this is not so. Ancient African empires – Mali, Songhai, Egypt – had scientists, astronomers. The fact is that space and its resources belong to all of us, not to any one group.”

“My parents were comfortable with me exploring areas that they were not proficient in. Some parents just aren’t comfortable with that.”

“As an astronaut, you have a very defined set of tasks to do. Those tasks may require you to work 60, 70 or 80 hours a week.”

“The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.”

“What we find is that if you have a goal that is very, very far out, and you approach it in little steps, you start to get there faster. Your mind opens up to the possibilities.”

“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out…You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.”

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”

“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”

The biggest challenge we all face is to learn about ourselves and to understand our strengths and weaknesses. We need to utilize our strengths, but not so much that we don’t work on our weaknesses.

Timidity does not inspire bold acts.

Sometimes parents squash students’ interests because they are afraid of science or math. So they don’t participate. You don’t have to know the answers to engage kids; you just have to let them know it’s important.

In space, you need to exercise your heart since it’s not pumping blood around at the same rate.

You have to actually be weighted to something to do the moonwalk, you know.

 

“Once I got into space, I was feeling very comfortable in the universe. I felt like I had a right to be anywhere in this universe, that I belonged here as much as any speck of stardust, any comet, any planet”

“People always think of technology as something having silicon in it. But a pencil is technology. Any language is technology. Technology is a tool we use to accomplish a particular task and when one talks about appropriate technology in developing countries, appropriate may mean anything from fire to solar electricity.”

“We look at science as something very elite, which only a few people can learn. That’s just not true. You just have to start early and give kids a foundation. Kids live up, or down, to expectations.”

On Being Yourself

“Sometimes people have already decided who you are without your story shining through.”

“The thing that I have done throughout my life is to do the best job that I can and to be me.”

On Being Black

“People may see astronauts and because the majority are white males, they tend to think it has nothing to do with them. But it does.”

“When I’m asked about the relevance to black people of what I do, I take that as an affront. It presupposes that black people have never been involved in exploring the heavens, but this is not so. Ancient African empires — Mali, Songhai, Egypt — had scientists, astronomers. The fact is that space and its resources belong to all of us, not to any one group.”

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