Moiya McTier

Astrophysicist, folklorist, podcast host and science communicator
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Moiya grew up in a log cabin in rural Pennsylvania without running water or TV, which meant she had plenty of time to focus on her studies. Hard work and a lot of luck took Moiya to Harvard, where she was the first person in the school's long history to double major in both astrophysics and folklore. After graduating, Moiya moved to New York to earn her PhD in astrophysics at Columbia University. There, she was named a National Science Foundation Research Fellow for her work studying planets outside of our solar system and the motion of stars around the galaxy. Moiya officially became a doctor of the universe in 2021 as the first Black woman to graduate from Columbia's astronomy PhD program and started pursuing science communication full-time.

In her career, Moiya has already given hundreds of talks about science around the world, helped design exhibits for the New York Hall of Science, and consulted with companies like Disney and PBS on scientific themes in their projects. She has reached thousands through her interviews on hit podcasts (Star Talk, Science Vs., and NPR's Science Friday) and media channels (PBS, MSNBC, NY1). Moiya can also be found co-hosting Fate & Fabled, a mythology show for PBS Digital studios, as well as hosting her own podcasts Exolore (about fictional worldbuilding through a science lens) and Pale Blue Pod (about astronomy for people who are afraid of the cosmos).

Moiya's debut book THE MILKY WAY: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy was released in 2022 to critical acclaim and was named one of Publishers Weekly's best books of 2022. Moiya's mission is to help people understand the world around us better through science and is eager to do that across as many platforms as possible.