John C. Mather (Hertz Fellow 1970, UC Berkeley, Physics) is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite (COBE), which measured the black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation. This work 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 is a senior astrophysicist at the U.S. space agency’s (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and adjunct professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Mather is also the project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, a space telescope to be launched to L2 no earlier than 2018.
1996, Rumford Prize, American Academy of Arts & Sciences; 1997, Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences; 1997, Member, National Academy of Sciences; 1996, Fellow, American Physical Society; 2006, Nobel Prize, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; 1999, Benjamin Franklin Medal, The Franklin Institute; 2011, Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science