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Dr Merritt Moore

Dancer/Astro Physicist

Physics on Pointe


Dancer/Astro Physicist


Physics on Pointe




36 years







What makes Dr Merritt Moore a Global Shaker?

“Merritt has achieved what some would call ‘the impossible’: a career as a professional ballet dancer and as an academic quantum physicist.” – University of Oxford

That’s right! Dr Meritt Moore AKA “the quantum ballerina” uses her two seemingly disparate passions to advance each other.

At school, she was encouraged to choose one of her passions, but she refused and threw herself into both.

“I gravitated towards physics and dance because they are both non-verbal activities. I have always found movement and mathematics much more natural than words and requiring a similar mindset,” Moore told Assembly.

“I think it is silly to categorise people as having either an analytic brain or creative brain because actually both are required for science and arts. For example, creativity is needed all the time in the lab to think of new solutions to approach and visualise problems in a different way. And in the dance world, being analytic allows you to stretch the limits of your physical abilities while finding new, innovative forms of movement.”

Moore has become an important young figure in both science and dance and urges that the arts and sciences should not be mutually exclusive.

She was recently awarded Forbes 30 under 30, and she was one of the 12 selected candidates to undergo rigorous astronaut selection on BBC Two “Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?”

Moore graduated with cum laude honours in physics from Harvard and graduated with a PhD in Atomic and Laser Physics from the University of Oxford.

She also pursued (and continues to pursue) an impressive professional ballet career with the Zurich Ballet, Boston Ballet, English National Ballet, and Norwegian National Ballet.

Besides being a distinguished ballerina and scientist, Moore also dedicates time to inspiring young women around the world to pursue their dreams.

Merritt collaborates with artists and researchers to bring “powerfully captivating and vulnerable performances on stage through the integration of science and art.”

Her main performance is a romantically breathtaking and stirring duet with an industrial robot.

Continuing the research that Merritt started during her residency at Harvard’s new ArtLab, she explores the future of A.I./ machine learning, specifically with dance, and she researches the incredible potential it has to magnify human creativity.

Tags: aerospace engineering, physics, Space, STEM

Last updated: May 8, 2020