Linda Billings is a consultant to NASA’s astrobiology and planetary defense programs in the Planetary Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She also is director of communications with the Center for Integrative STEM Education at the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia. She lives in Sarasota, Florida. Dr. Billings earned her Ph.D. in mass communication from Indiana University. Her research interests include science and risk communication, social studies of science, and the history and rhetoric of science and space exploration. She has worked for more than 30 years in Washington, D.C., as a researcher; communication planner, manager, and analyst; policy analyst; journalist; and consultant to the government. Her papers have been published by the NASA History Division; Space Policy; Acta Astronautica; Advances in Space Research;theBulletin of Science, Technology, and Society; Scientific America; SpSpace News; The Space Review;Theology & Science; Biological Theory; and Futures. She was the first senior editor for space at Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine (1986-88), founding editor of Space Business News (1983-85), and contributing author for First Contact: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence(1990),Societal Impacts of Space Flight (2007), NASA’s First 50 Years: Historical Perspectives (2010),Media, Spiritualities, and Social Change (2011),Space Shuttle Legacy: How We Did It and What We Learned(2013), andThe Impact of Discovering Life Beyond Earth (2015).
Dr. Billings was a member of the staff for the National Commission on Space (1985-86), appointed during the Reagan administration to develop a long-term plan for space exploration. She served as an officer of Women in Aerospace (WIA) for 15 years, most recently as president (2003). She is the recipient of a WIA Lifetime Achievement Award (2009) and a WIA Outstanding Achievement Award (1991). She was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009.