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Dr Francesca Primas

Full Astronomer, ESO


Full Astronomer at the European Southern Observatory (Germany), the leading intergovernmental… (more)

Full Astronomer at the European Southern Observatory (Germany), the leading intergovernmental science and technology organisation in astronomy. I started my career in Italy but quickly moved to the USA (University of Chicago) before joining ESO, where for several years I led the User Support Department and then chaired the ESO Faculty. Now I am a Project Scientist, involved in the peer review process of telescope time requests and its associated science policy aspects. Research-wise, I am an observational astrophysicist interested in unraveling the formation and evolution of the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies via their chemical histories.


I am also known for my commitment and active engagement in the promotion of women in astronomy and against gender biases in STEM. I have  chaired the International Astronomical Union Working Group on Women in Astronomy, I have been a member of the ISC project “The Gender Gap in the Natural Sciences”, and all along I have helped setting up committees and discussion groups on diversity and inclusion. Recently, I have completed and released the Astro Voices project, a series of videos celebrating female astronomers and students from around the world, giving them a “voice” to share their passion for astronomy.