Sarafina El-Badry Nance: Discovering the Cosmos

As a child, Sarafina El-Badry Nance spent nearly every evening with her father gazing up at the flickering stars and pondering what secrets the night sky held. The daughter of an American father and Egyptian mother, Sarafina dreamed of becoming an astronomer. But it wasn’t long before she was told, both explicitly and implicitly, that girls just weren’t cut out for math and science.

In a field that sees few women and women of color, Sarafina reflects on the obstacles that she faced to pursue her passion for the cosmos.

Join us for an in-depth talk with astrophysicist Sarafina El-Badry Nance.


Gerald Harris


A Technology & Science Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

In association with Wonderfest.

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.


Bernard Osher Foundation


Nance photo by Kelly Mooney.

Image - Sarafina El-Badry Nance

Sarafina El-Badry Nance

Astrophysicist; Analog Astronaut; Author, Starstruck: A Memoir of Astrophysics and Finding Light in the Dark; Twitter@starstrickenSF

Image - Gerald Harris

Gerald Harris

President, Quantum Planning Group; Chair, Technology & Society Member-led Forum, The Commonwealth Club of California—Moderator