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I am an astrophysicist from Argentina. I have always been fascinated about the origin of things and, in astronomy, I specialised in the origin of planets. In my PhD, I did numerical simulations to understand how giant planets like Jupiter form. This brought me to Switzerland, to continue my research with a posdoc. But in 2012 I made a radical change in my career, moving from modelling to instrumentation: CHEOPS was selected as the first ESA small mission (led by the University of Bern) and I was offered to work as the instrument scientist of the project. CHEOPS is a space telescope built to characterise exoplanets. It was launched at the end of 2019 and it has been doing amazing science since then. I am still the instrument scientist, making sure that the telescope works according to the precision required in order to obtain the best possible results.

 

I joined 500 WS to help promoting women in science. Women are underrepresented in STEM and this has nothing to do with our ability to do valuable research. The STEM field is still dominated by white men, something that biases the science we do and generates inequalities. I believe that science should foster diversity (gender, race, nationality, etc.) because this is the only way to do the best science for all people.

Dr. Andrea Fortier

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