Survey: ‘Silver Tsunami’ to Wash Away Apollo-era Defense, Aerospace Workers
WASHINGTON - The so-called Silver Tsunami -- the graying of the country's population -- will hit the aerospace industry especially hard: The average age of an aerospace and defense workers is 45, compared to the median age of 42 for all American workers, according to a survey by Aviation Week and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The aerospace industry received an influx of workers during the Apollo era, when the country's space program was shooting for the moon and generating buzz; cuts to that program in the mid- to late-1970s and 1980s, plus the Vietnam and Cold Wars, kept the industry from ever receiving a major infusion of fresh talent. As a result, the Aviation Week survey -- which tallied responses from companies like Boeing, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman -- showed that this year 9.6 percent of employees, or 62,000 people, in aerospace and defense were eligible for retirement.
Mae Carol Jemison: Minority Women Must Stargaze
DURHAM, N.C. - Former astronaut Mae Carol Jemison told a room of skeptical Duke University science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors that stargazing is “a commonality across human experience” and more minorities should be a part of it. Jemison, the world’s first woman of color to complete a space flight, was addressing a room full of minority students recently as part of the Race in Space conference hosted by Duke’s Department of African and African American Studies. A trained physician who studied chemical engineering and African and Afro-American studies at Stanford University, when few women and blacks were STEM majors, Jemison, now 57, was inspired by a fictional character, Lt. Nyota Uhura of “Star Trek,” played by Nichelle Nichols. “We have so many assumptions that keep us out of fields of inquiry,” Jemison said, “but space exploration is transdisciplinary.”
Corrected, 11/22/13: An earlier version of this article referenced data from a survey by TheLadders. The data came from a study.