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Nathalia  Holt

Nathalia Holt

New York Times Bestselling Author of Rocket Girls 


New York Times bestselling author Nathalia Holt enthuses audiences with her inspiring narratives of women who have defied the odds, broken barriers, and made history. The moving stories of the trailblazing women of NASA, and the pioneers of the Walt Disney Company, shed light on the greater role of women in our society, and their heavy influence on the technology and culture that surrounds us today. Read More >

Holt, who holds a Ph.D. and writes for The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Atlantic, among others, smoothly blends topics of science, technology, space exploration, and animation into her talks, which can be adapted for a wide variety of audiences. Her books, CuredRise of the Rocket Girls, and The Queens of Animation, all tell the true stories of breakthrough innovation coming from unexpected sources. Nathalia Holt leaves audiences feeling they can accomplish any task that lies ahead. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDx: For the Future of Women in Science, Look to the Past

TEDx: How Lies Launch Modern Medicine

The Queens of Animation

Talks at Google | Rise of the Rocket Girls

Speech Topics

Rocket Girls: The Unsung Heroes of NASA

In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.  In this talk, Nathalia Holt shares both the personal and professional stories of this group of women, as well as describing the many other “human computers” in NASA’s history"--who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. This talk offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.

Cracking the Code: How to Increase the Number of Women in STEM

The number of women graduating with degrees in computer science has dropped sharply in recent decades, with the percent of female graduates just half of what they were thirty years earlier.  In this enlightening talk, Nathalia Holt reveals the reasons behind lag of women working in STEM fields and drawing upon the history of women in science, highlights evidence-based steps to move forward.

The Queens of Animation: The Women Who Make Disney Magic

Snow White to Moana, from Pinocchio to Frozen, the animated films of Walt Disney Studios have moved and entertained millions. But few fans know that behind these groundbreaking features was an incredibly influential group of women who fought for respect in an often-ruthless male-dominated industry and who have slipped under the radar for decades. In this talk, bestselling author Nathalia Holt tells their dramatic stories, showing how these women infiltrated the boys' club of Disney's story and animation departments and used early technologies to create the rich artwork and unforgettable narratives that have become part of the American canon. Holt connects the story of these women to their continued impact on animated filmmaking, culminating in the record-shattering Frozen, Disney's first female-directed full-length feature film.

From Paper to Pixels: The Rapidly Transforming World of Animation

Walt Disney was always on the forefront of technology: from incorporating sound into early cartoons, to Technicolor, to effects animation. This talk delves into the technology behind classic animated features and the artists responsible for advancing the field into the revolution of visual effects that dominate the field today.