Astrophysicist and women in STEM ambassador Lisa Harvey-Smith is set to release her brand-new children’s book Under the Stars: Astrophysics for Bedtime on October 1 through Melbourne University Publishing.

Illustrated by Mel Matthews, the book takes curious kids and inquisitive adults on a journey through the night sky, where they can explore the solar system, find out why the sky is blue, fly around a black hole and learn why Jupiter has stripes.

Bringing the night sky to life, Under the Stars: Astrophysics for Bedtime aims to give new perspectives to young explorers who are always asking—’Why?’

A passionate advocate for gender equity, Lisa hopes to inspire and encourage young women to foster an interest in STEM, as she did at an early age with astrophysics.

With women accounting for less than 1/5 of all employees in STEM in Australia, Lisa is raising awareness and driving cultural change in the STEM sector.

“It’s important that we foster home-grown talent into STEM and encourage girls as much as boys to develop their interests in the diverse fields in sciences, technology, the different types of engineering and mathematics,” she says. “There is absolutely no difference in the ability between the genders and I am excited to assist in driving this cultural change and see a shift in attitudes towards gender in STEM.”

As part of her role as Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador, Lisa has been travelling the country sharing her enthusiasm for astrophysics, encouraging more girls and women into STEM and working with leaders to address barriers to gender equity in STEM fields.

She hopes parents and grandparents will encourage not only their sons and grandsons, but their daughters and granddaughters to engage with astrophysics through her new book and exploring an exciting new world among the stars.

“The cosmos is a fascinating new world for many, and I am excited to have translated my knowledge of this amazing subject for kids,” Lisa says.

It’s a wonderful introduction into science and technology for kids – and their parents. If my new book can inspire girls to look beyond the social stereotypes and reach for the stars, I’ll be very happy”.

Under the Stars: Astrophysics for Bedtime is available for pre-order at
The hardcover and e-book are available from all good booksellers on October 1.