Science and Culture: A Talk by Celeste Manuia Ha’o

August 25, 2015, 4:16 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:16 PM
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Celeste “Cesi” Manuia Ha’o will conduct a personal recount of her determination to find balance and harmony between her culture and science passion during a talk on Friday, Aug. 28 from 7 -8 p.m. at the Kahilu Theatre.

Ha’o is the current Educate Associate and the Outreach Coordinator of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. She is also a member of the ‘Ohana Wa’a and an apprentice navigator who recently co-navigated the Hokule’a as part of the Malama Honua World Wide Voyage. In the voyage, Ha’o traveled to Samoa, the location of her family village, Faleapuna.

During her talk, Ha’o will discuss her determination to find balance been her passion for science and her cultural responsibility. As a fifth grader in the 1990’s, she desired to become an astronomer, and her desire created a deep internal conflict as the clash of culture and science surrounding astronomy atop Mauna Kea began its visible rise.

The conflict? Become a world-class scientist or choose to be a pono Hawaiian.

It wasn’t until the sixth grade that Ha’o decided she could fulfill both roles. The decision has led her on a journey to become a bridge-builder to connect the two communities.


Ha’o is a University of Hawai’i at Hilo student where she is set to graduate in the fall with a degree in Culture-Based Astronomy Education, a degree she created on her own. The purpoe of the self-made degree was to enhance her life and occupational passion, while she promoted a place-based teaching and learning of astronomy and science led by a cultural perspective.


The public talk is free to all.

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