For Julia Milner, there is nothing more Beautiful than science. As one half of the world’s most influential science philanthropy couple, the former artist and model loves seeing cutting-edge experiments up close. She is inspired 8y both the sculptural gra
A former artist and model turned cosmic enthusiast goes above and beyond to shed light upon the possibilities of life beyond Earth
The Parkes Observatory is a surreal sight, looming over a dry, rural basin some 350 kilometres west of Sydney, Australia. The 65-metre bowl of the radio telescope, translucent white over a dark metal fretwork, looks almost too vast to be supported on the cylindrical turret that houses its control room. There the flickering consoles and the tapping of computer keyboards are the only clues to its mission: combing the cosmos in search of a longawaited signal from beyond. Dressed in the season’s fashion, Julia Milner cuts an alien figure herself, among its banks of dials and monitors. But the observatory is close to her heart: she and her husband, Yuri Milner, are the founders of Breakthrough Listen, a global astronomical programme that searches for evidence of civilisations beyond Earth. Julia is drawn to a great dish as an aesthetic object, a unique monument of space-age architecture; and she is captivated by the question that it asks: Are we alone in the universe? Or do we have cosmic siblings? Parkes has historical significance: it was the telescope which received the first signals from Apollo’s successful moon-landing on July 20, 1969. Should Breakthrough Listen’s quest succeed, the dish will no doubt achieve an even higher fame. For now, though, the methodical search continues. With a deep whirring that breaks the control room silence, the telescope moves into a new position, training itself onto another distant galaxy in search of faraway worlds—homes, perhaps, to alien cultures, with their own great works of science and beauty.
LOOKING UP Julia wears a top and skirt by Maticevski, sunglasses by Christian Dior and a handbag by Bulgari
GROUND CONTROL Julia wears a jumpsuit by Lacoste, a belt by Saint Laurent, heels by Fendi and a handbag by Gucci