Staff Profiles

Avis Lang

Writer and Editor, Hayden Associate

  • Education

      • M.A. in History of Art, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
      • B.A. in English, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Research Interests

    Research Interests

      Since 2002, Avis Lang has been editing and collaborating with the ubiquitous space advocate Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City—initially as the senior editor responsible for his Natural History magazine column, “Universe,” and subsequently as the editor of their book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier (W.W. Norton, 2012). Several of the “Universe” essays produced during her years as editor of the column have received awards from the American Institute of Physics or been included in the Best American Science Writing or Best American Science and Nature Writing annual anthologies.

      Lang’s most recent publication under her own name is the essay-length e-book Somehow, Someday: Prospects for Spacefaring (Kindle, March 2013; NOOK, March 2013). Working with the premise that, if asked whether humans will have colonized space by the year 2500, most people would say yes, the essay addresses how, in light of current realities, that goal might be achieved. It investigates the present state and long-term prospects of space politics and spacefaring, both within the United States and for humanity as a whole.

      While working in Canada during the 1970s and 1980s as an art historian, essayist, curator, and performer, Lang taught fine arts and women’s studies at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Her best-known curatorial project was Pork Roasts: 250 Feminist Cartoons (1981), an international traveling exhibition of work by more than a hundred cartoonists from thirteen countries. She now lives in New York City; in addition to her position as a Research Associate at the Hayden Planetarium, she is an adjunct lecturer in English at the City University of New York and a freelance editor.