Charlotte Minsky

I study (exo)planets and history.

I currently help lead the COVID Racial Data Tracker at The Atlantic's COVID Tracking Project.

In 2021-2022, I'll be doing a master's in history of science at the University of Cambridge. After that, I'll start a PhD in planetary science at Harvard in 2022.

In my free time, I listen to podcasts and radio, play various musical instruments, and try to spend time with trees and mountains. Past lives include: meteorologist, cellist in a rock band, and ordained minister.

Updated March 2021

Astronomy & Planetary Science

I like planets and atmospheres and small bodies of all Solar Systems, but especially ones ⪆150 AUs away.

In 2022, I'll be starting a PhD program studying planetary science in Robin Wordsworth's group at Harvard.

At MIT, I majored in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences with a concentration in Planetary Science & Astronomy, where I helped vet planets for the NASA/MIT TESS mission and wrote a senior thesis about trying to use radial velocity data to look at exoplanet transmission spectra in a new way.

I do astronomy outreach for all ages. You can hear me chatting with Bill Nye and Corey Powell about looking for exoplanets here.


I research/am interested in things in the blob of topics whose contours are very roughly defined by the phrases "history of science and tech," "19th and 20th centuries", "settler colonialism," "land use," and "infrastructure."

In 2021-2022, I'll be pursuing an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science as a Gates Cambridge scholar at the University of Cambridge.

At MIT, I also did a joint major in History and Computer Science (which was basically a history major with some CS classes tacked on). My senior thesis was about settler colonialism and the establishment of the first permanently occupied mountaintop observatory. I was also involved in the MIT and Slavery project and helped edit Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings.

CV & Contact

CV: here and embedded below


Twitter: @minskycharlotte


gif of a hedgehog lying on its back and happily reacting to a wooden spoon being offered to it