Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures—a #1 New York Times bestseller and inspiration for the #1 movie in America—is the true story of the black women mathematicians at NASA who helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. In talks, Shetterly celebrates these unsung heroes, teasing out issues of race, gender, science, and innovation against the backdrop of WWII and the Civil Rights Era.
Shetterly is also the founder of the Human Computer Project, a digital archive of the stories of NASA’s African-American “Human Computers” whose work tipped the balance in favor of the United States in WWII, the Cold War, and the Space Race. Shetterly’s father was among the early generation of black NASA engineers and scientists, and she had direct access to NASA executives and the women featured in the book. She grew up around the historically black Hampton University, where some of the women in Hidden Figures studied. Along with Aran Shetterly, Shetterly co-founded the magazine Inside Mexico. She graduated from The University of Virginia, is a 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, and recently joined the Terra Alpha Investments advisory board.