Culture on My Mind – Staying Curious

Culture on My Mind
February 28, 2020

This week’s “can’t let it go” is in memory of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.

“You see, if you lose your curiosity, then you stop learning.”

From Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson


Katherine Johnson, NASA

Katherine Johnson slipped the surly bonds of Earth on February 24th at the age of 101. She was critical to the success of manned spaceflight in this country during her 35 years at NASA, including calculations of trajectories, launch windows, and emergency return paths for Project Mercury. She worked on the Apollo Program, the Space Shuttle Program, and plans for a Mars mission. She was also a co-author on 26 scientific papers.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2015.

You can learn more about her in her autobiography and the 2016 biopic Hidden Figures (based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly).

Her ethos is one of the reasons that I do what I do. I’m not in it for money or fame. I just want to have fun, stay curious, and keep learning.



Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.


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