The Cool Worlds Lab Mission

To advance our understanding of extrasolar worlds for which temperatures are sufficiently cool to be amenable for breakthrough discoveries such as moons, rings and life. To enable these breakthrough discoveries, we will:

  • Develop innovative approaches to extract novel information from astronomical observations
  • Apply modern data science and statistical techniques to new and existing astronomical data sets
  • Transparently communicate our results to the scientific and wider community
  • Provide a safe and supportive environment for group members and mentor the next generation of leaders in our field

Expectations of Lab Members

At a basic level, I expect lab members to have a genuine passion and fascination with these grandest of questions which we attempt to tackle. I expect lab members to constantly balance this passion with rigorous objectivity and scientific integrity, allowing the data to illuminate the way and never allowing ourselves to be diverted by what we wish to believe.

Lab members are expected to recognize the importance of self-care, recognizing that our minds are our only real window to the universe. I am committed to supporting you in this process and recognize the unique struggles every individual faces. I expect members to have bold ambition and actively work towards advancing their full potential.

Lab members should respect and listen to one another. There are no bad ideas and our task is to identify the most promising research avenues. We recognize that creativity is the most important ability of a scientist and foster it through open and provocative discussions. However, we also recognize that creativity alone is wasted without investing the time and energy to necessary to realize our ideas. We are willing to fail and take risks, acknowledging that not every venture can succeed but that this process is fundamental to scientific advances.

I expect lab members to acknowledge the great importance of presenting results with a commitment to clarity, transparency and to nurture their own unique style of expression. I strongly encourage members to engage in public outreach and science communication in whatever form they prefer.

Code of Conduct

We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free, safe environment for everyone, regardless of race, nationality, religion (or lack thereof), gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, politics and appearance. Harassment of group members is not tolerated, in any form.

We regard the following content as inappropriate for any venue, including meetings, presentations, and/or discussions: sexual language and imagery, racially charged slurs and jokes, and threats to physical safety. Research group members are expected to adhere to the code of conduct during all academia related activities, such as presentations at Columbia or other institutes, attending conferences and public education events.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to: sexual imagery or language, verbal comments that re-enforce social structures of domination, racially charged language or jokes, deliberate intimidation or stalking, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome attention including photography and recording, sustained disruption of talks and advocating for any of the above.

If you are being harassed, or notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any concerns, please contact Dr. David Kipping immediately. If Dr. Kipping is the cause of your concern, Professor Kathryn Johnson has agreed to mediate. For concerns that need to be addressed at a higher level, please contact the Office for Inclusivity and Diversity.

For small incidents, group members that are found to violate the code of conduct will receive a verbal warning and a chance to remedy their behavior. Group members that are found to be in frequent violation with minor incidents may be asked to leave the research group at the end of the semester. Group members that are in gross violation of the code of conduct will be asked to leave the research group immediately. Researchers that are asked to leave will need to return any equipment, including hard drives and data, that they may have received over the course of their research appointment.

This code of conduct was adapted from the group of Dr. Lia Corrales ( and the Geek Feminism wiki (