John C. Mather, Ph.D.
Dr. Mather currently serves as Science Director of the Academy.
Winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, Dr. Mather studied cosmic microwave background radiation and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California.
As a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, Dr. Mather led a team to propose the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite mission to study cosmic microwave background radiation. This work, for which he won a Nobel Prize, helped cement the Big Bang theory of the universe. According to the Nobel Prize committee, “the COBE project can also be regarded as the starting point for cosmology as a precision science.”
Dr. Mather has served on advisory and working groups for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.
In 2007, Mather was listed among Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in The World. In October, 2012, he was listed again by Time magazine in a special issue on New Space Discoveries as one of 25 most influential people in space.