A lover of all things space and science

I loved studying astrophysics in university. But diving in to the technicalities of research, I was so focused on programming models and simulations that I couldn’t see the universe for its stars. My heart yearned for the more imaginative notions of space and time that I consumed in articles and documentaries.

Then, a science communication poster triggered a fond memory from freshman year, when I'd turned Non-Euclidean geometry into a science fiction story. “That’s right,” I thought. “I’m a writer, too.”

Having found my calling, I readily embraced every opportunity to communicate physics outside my major. The rush of weaving science and writing together spurred me to switch my trajectory from conducting research to exploring the narrative of the cosmos.

Through science communication, I aim to inform others by bringing what I find in the night sky down to Earth. After all, what inspires me about the universe is that even the wildest fantasies originate from scientific truth.

Chiara Villanueva (she/they)



2024 · M.S. in Science Communication — University of California, Santa Cruz

2021 · B.S. in Astrophysics, Minor in Pure Mathematics — University of California, Santa Cruz


2023 · Taylor/Blakeslee Graduate Fellow — Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

2023 · Astriobiology Fellow — University of California, Santa Cruz

Image Credits

International Gemini Observatory

/NSF’s NOIRLab/AURA/Kwon o chul


Emily Harwitz


Chiara Villanueva


Jack B


Johann Elert Bode