Am I Made of Stardust?

Am I Made of Stardust? Illustrated book cover

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock (MBE) is a space scientist, celebrated STEM educator and communicator, and presenter of the long-standing BBC’s The Sky at Night. She is passionate about encouraging young people to pursue their “big, crazy dreams” and to answer big questions. Her latest book Am I Made of Stardust? is full of amazing facts about the Universe to excite you about learning more and exploring Space.

We were fortunate to meet Dr Maggie and listen to her talk at the beautiful Sheldonian Theatre during the Oxford Literary Festival, along with a theatre full of young people and their families.

Andrew Kensley meets Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock at the Oxford Literary Festival. Photo credit: FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival and KT Bruce (photographer).

During her talk, Dr Maggie shared inspiring stories of her own STEM journey. She spoke about her challenges at school, her big dreams that had driven her to pursue space science, and the dreams she still has, such as travelling to outer space.

Dr Maggie talked about some big questions scientists are exploring answers to and shared amazing facts about the Universe. Did the Universe start with a Big Bang? Yes, we think so, and she explained what a ‘Big Bang’ means. Is there other life out there? It is possible, there may be, and we are looking in different places in different ways. And, like the title of her new book, am I made of stardust? Yes, we are all made up of elements that would have been part of stars, and which could have passed through numerous stars before ending up in us…isn’t that amazing and beautiful?!

Dr Maggie has inspired and been a role model to many girls in particular, and in March ahead of International Women’s Day, was named as a Barbie Role Model for her work promoting science careers to girls. Now, a new doll looking just like her will help inspire other children to leap into Space. With NASA recently announcing the first woman and the first African American astronauts assigned to a lunar mission, the Artemis-II, on the first crewed voyage around the moon in more than 50 years, the big dream of a trip to Space may be within closer reach of more young people.

We recommend her latest book, Am I made of Stardust?, to discover more about the wonders of our Universe.

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock gave an inspiring talk at the Oxford Literary Festival