Though Oceania may be the least populous of the continents, it has a rich history of astronomy. Polynesian people, including Māori in New Zealand, used celestial navigation to dominate the oceans, spread out across thousands of miles. Everything changed when the British Empire invaded; native knowledge was suppressed and called heresy by missionaries misusing their power. Thankfully, with help and hard work from local astronomers, Oceanian astronomy is starting to get back on track.
Africa has immense diversity of culture, and with this comes a vast and varied knowledge of astronomy. Countries in Northern Africa have a different view of the sky than those in the southern hemisphere, making Africa the continent with the widest-spanning view of the night sky.
While many students may never venture south of the Meadows to the King’s Buildings, some might say that the same inequalities in academia persist or are even greater on Edinburgh University’s second biggest campus. In this interview with Rosalyn Pearson, a 3rd year PhD student in the School of Physics and Astronomy, I discuss what it’s like to be a non-binary woman in a department comprised of (almost) solely cisgender heterosexual white men.