Lauren Worley shares the story of the Universe. She is the Press Secretary and Senior Advisor to NASA, and it’s her job to ensure that the public knows what NASA is doing. Or, as she puts it, “increasing the awesome.”

To Lauren, NASA isn’t another government agency. They have a duty to spread their discoveries to anyone who’s ever put their eyes to the sky. And that, Lauren says, is “incredibly important.”

“NASA is a national treasure,” she says. ”The history of NASA is an integral aspect of everything that we are as Americans; everything from the geopolitical achievement of being the first country to land on the Moon, to all the technological advances that come out of that. Not to mention all of us who have been inspired by all the things the people of NASA have done. It’s amazing.”

The Dorrance Planetarium met Lauren doing the Tucson Astronomy Expo, and had the opportunity to talk with her about, well, increasing the awesome.

The interview that follows is worth every word, Lauren is an absolutely amazing communicator, but just in case, here are some highlights for our 160 character limit world:

“The best stories appeal to our hearts and our imagination. And NASA’s story is all about inspiration and aspiration. Right? We exist because people for thousands of years looked up into the sky and wondered why?”

“Everything that we do every day is answering those questions and benefiting human kind. That’s kind of mind blowing.”

“We are in the next generation of space travel. We’ve got private companies now doing this stuff, and if more private companies get into space travel, that means it’s more likely that people like you and me can go to space. That’s pretty cool.”

“…this is ridiculous by the way, at NASA we don’t have contacts, we have space act agreements, which I think is just a fun word. I just think it’s really fun to say ‘I’m going to make a space act agreement with you.’”

“…we don’t all have to become engineers, or rocket scientists, or astrophysicists to appreciate our Universe and to make a difference. We need elected officials, we need journalists, we need CEO’s of companies to understand science. It’s not just about ‘we need more girl engineers,’ we need more women and men who have a basic understanding of science and the role that it plays in our lives.”

“It’s not just about scientific discovery, sometimes it’s about the artistic discovery as well.”

“You don’t necessarily have to understand Quantum Mechanics to be a science communicator. By sharing your passion and your interest in exploring the Universe, it’s going to get more people interested and passionate in it because they’re going to see your enthusiasm and they’re going to share it.”

Follow her @SpaceLauren

Come back next week to see our full Q&A with her!

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