Francesca Primas

Full Astronomer at the European Southern Observatory, Germany

ISC Fellow


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

She is also well-known for her commitment and active engagement in the promotion of women in astronomy and against gender biases in STEM. She has chaired the International Astronomical Union Working Group on Women in Astronomy, she has been a member of the ISC project “The Gender Gap in the Natural Sciences”, and all along she has helped setting up committees and discussion groups on diversity and inclusion. Recently, she has 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.

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