Science has played an important role in Linda Voss’ life. Her family is made up of engineers, her sister worked as an astronaut, and she owns her own communications company and does full-time contract work for NASA.
Voss, BA’80, established the Space Family Voss Science Communication Scholarship to support future science journalists.
Voss got her start in science communication at IU, where she created her own science beat at the Indiana Daily Student and took formative classes in both journalism and science. Organic and inorganic chemistry courses were two of her favorites, she said, though she has always been drawn to writing.
“That’s what this scholarship is trying to do, which is to encourage people to develop those kinds of skills, to see the human side of the science and the science side of the human,” she said.
It’s easy to see the significance of science in Voss’ life. She answered questions from in front of a Zoom background, a photo taken from the Hubble Space Telescope. And when she is physically at NASA headquarters where she works, there are screens over the elevator that show the view of earth from the Space Station, she said.
“I don’t ever get tired of that, and I never underappreciate the fact that I am able to stand and look down at the earth while I am waiting for the elevator,” Voss said. “And that changes your sense of who you are.”
Voss’ sister Janice flew on the space shuttle five times, and the family watched the launches from the Kennedy Space Center. Voss reported on some of the launches.
“We’re a space science family,” Voss said. “In my family, science and education was always really important.”