Kimberly Arcand

Astronomy, Physics, Molecular Biology
& Computer Science


It all started when…

I was working in molecular biology and public health when I was hired for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in 1998. Since I always wanted to be an astronaut when I was little, this opportunity got me close to the cosmos but without the long distance commute. Today, I use data to tell stories about science, whether in the form of a 3D print of an exploded star, a book about light, or a Virtual Reality application in high-energy astrophysics.


Science storytelling


The story continues…

I enjoy connecting with different groups, from small classes of elementary students to large conferences with aerospace industry professionals.  I have had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the Library of Congress, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United Nations (Space for Women), US Congress (Science on the Hill), Blue Origin, Intrepid Museum, Brown University, Boston Museum of Science, Franklin Institute, USA Science and Engineering Festival, TEDx, and many others.   Whether I’m discussing space, light, data visualization or women in STEM, I greatly appreciate being able to interact with diverse audiences.




My Work Includes…

I am a leading expert in studying the perception and comprehension of high-energy data visualization across the novice-expert spectrum, and a co-founder and principle researcher for the Aesthetics and Astronomy image response research project with international participation.

My recent digital applications work includes experimental studies in emerging technologies, from the production of the first-ever data-driven 3D print of a supernova remnant to the first-ever data-driven virtual reality app of a supernova remnant using NASA data.

Additionally, I co-founded and was the principal investigator for numerous public science initiatives that placed astronomy, physics, optics, photonics and planetary science in non-traditional science outreach spaces reaching many millions of people since 2009.