In Brief

NSF Confirms First Astrophysicist, Second Woman As Director

Sky & Telescopes
(Image credit: ESO/José Francisco Salgado)

The U.S. Senate recently confirmed a new director for the National Science Foundation, France Córdova.

Córdova is the first astrophysicist and second woman to head the federal agency, and the 14th director since the agency's inception. Previously, she served as the president of Purdue University in Indiana, as well as the chairwoman of the Smithsonian Institution's board of regents. In the 1990s, Córdova also worked as a chief scientist at NASA. One of her main goals as NSF director will be to communicate the importance of basic research, Nature reported

The National Science Foundation is a federal agency that provides funding for basic research and education across a range of sciences.

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Tia Ghose
Managing Editor

Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.