Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.)

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Interview with Joel Primack, Distinguished Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Primack discusses what he has been able to do in his free time since his retirement, including writing papers, giving lectures, hosting meetings at UC Santa Cruz, leading international collaborations, and supervising research. He sees the new data coming from the Vera Rubin Observatory and the Gaia Survey as exciting developments in the realm of astrophysics, and he is looking forward to adding to this data when we begin receiving images from the James Webb Space Telescope. Primack discusses his work with various simulations that he has utilized to understand what may be occurring within galaxies, and the growing importance of astrobiology in these simulations. He takes us back into his early years in Montana, where his passion for science began to develop, and how his high school education and internships led him to Princeton University for his undergraduate career. While at Princeton, Primack took classes from John Wheeler, worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab under Bill Pickering, and participated in the Students for a Democratic Society, where his interest in the combination of politics and science began to grow. Primack discusses how important the communication between politicians and scientists is, and he saw this need for improved communication early on. He started the Congressional Science and Technology Fellowship program as a preliminary way to work on the relationship between government and science. He then recounts his experiences at Harvard University and his eventual move to Santa Cruz, where he continued working on dark matter and dark energy, among other things. He remarks on his relationship and work with Nancy Abrams, including the courses they taught and the books they wrote together. He ends the interview talking about his family, his recovery from cancer, and the people he’s looking forward to working with in the future.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Interview with Kyle Myers, Director of the Division of Imaging, Diagnostics, and Software Reliability in the FDA Center for Devices in Radiological Health. Myers recounts her childhood and the many moves her family made in support of her father's career in engineering management for General Electric, and she describes her father's formative influence and encouragement for her to pursue a career in science. She describes her college course work in physics at Occidental and Caltech, and she describes her decision to pursue a degree in optical sciences at the University of Arizona. She describes her work at the Jet Propulsion Lab and how this experience focused her interest on optics. Myers discusses working with her graduate advisor Harry Barrett on human perception and radiological imaging, and the importance of the research support she received from Kodak. She describes her postdoctoral work at Corning developing long-distance optical fibers, and she explains the circumstances leading to her career focus in medical imaging research at the FDA. Myers discusses the administrative evolution of the relevant offices and research centers at the FDA over the course of her career, and she discusses some of the major technological advances and her role in their development, including CT imaging, MRIs, and mammography screening. She describes some of the partnerships in the trade industry and across the federal interagency process that serve as important partners in her work, and she explains the adjudication process when a company is at odds with an FDA review of a given device. At the end of the interview Myers conveys her interest in the future prospects of digital pathology and the benefits it promises in disease detection and treatment.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Interview with Hiranya Peiris, Professor of Astrophysics at University College London and Director of the Oscar Klein Centre and Professor of Cosmo-Particle Physics at Stockholm University. Peiris describes her dual affiliation, she discusses diversity in STEM over the past year, and she surveys the current interplay between theory and observation in her field. She recounts her childhood and family heritage in Sri Lanka and the circumstances that led her family to relocate to the United Kingdom. Peiris describes her interests in math and science the opportunities that led to her enrollment at Cambridge as an undergraduate and a formative experience at JPL in California. She explains her decision to pursue a PhD at Princeton, where she worked with David Spergel on WMAP. Peiris discusses her postdoctoral appointment as a Hubble fellow at the University of Chicago to continue to work on WMAP, and her subsequent work as a Halliday fellow at Cambridge. Peiris discusses her work on the Lyman-alpha forest and her faculty appointment at UCL where cosmology was just coming into maturity. She conveys the excitement as WMAP results were becoming available and her contributions to the search for dark matter. Peiris explains why the LSST project is so significant, what it was like to win the Breakthrough Prize, and the gratitude she feels by having eminent physicists as mentors. At the end of the interview, Peiris emphasizes the importance of following inquiry into the most fundamental questions surrounding gravity and space time, and why Stephen Hawking remains an intellectual inspiration to her.

Interviewed by
Samantha M. Thompson
Interview date
Location
Neugebauer's home, Tucson, Arizona
Abstract

Marcia Neugebauer discusses her childhood in New York City; mother's education at Vassar; her education at Cornell University in physics and philosophy; applying for jobs and graduate school; Master's at the University of Illinois, working with David Lazarus measuring diffusion in metals; marriage to Gerry Neugebuer; interviewing with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); hired alongside Conway Snyder to study possible use of nuclear reactors for rocket propulsion; competition between the Army and Air Force; learning to work with instrumentation; Space Science Section of JPL; Ray Newburn; solar wind; Russian probes to study solar wind; Mariner 2 mission and subsequent media; Solar Wind Conference; Christopher Russell; Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ASLEP); International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE); Ulysses; leadership role with the American Geophysical Union (AGU); women in sciences and at JPL.

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
Campbell Hall, Berkeley, California
Abstract

Early life in New York and California, and decision to do undergraduate work in astronomy at University of California at Berkeley. Decision during army service, 1955-1957, on a career in astronomy; return to Berkeley, 1957, for graduate work. Professional career: work at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), 1961-1964; return to Berkeley as professor in 1964, and research in galaxy-related problems. General problems in cosmology. Also prominently mentioned are: Wilhelm Heinrich Walter Baade, Jerry Brown, Armin Deutsch, Jesse Leonard Greenstein, Louis Henyey, Alfred H. Joy, Lou Kaplan, Richard Kron, Gerard Peter Kuiper, Nicholas Ulrich Mayall, Rudolph Leo Bernhard Minkowski, William Wilson Morgan, Guido Münch, George Preston, Ronald Reagan, Allan Sandage, Emanuel B. Spinrad, Bengt Georg Daniel Strömgren, Otto Struve, George Wallerston, Joe Wampler, Harold Weaver, Albert Edward Whitford; California Institute of Technology, Hayden Planetarium, International Astronomical Union, Lick Observatory, San Diego State University, Sky and Telescope, United States Army Map Service, and Yale Conference on Cosmology (1977).

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D. C.
Abstract

This interview reviews Frosch's early schooling in the New York City Public School system, his education at Columbia University and, in detail, his varied career as a physicist and a science administrator, beginning with his work as a research scientist at Hudson Laboratory and then as Assistant Director and Director of the Theoretical Division. Other topics and affiliations discussed include: Advance Research Project Agency (ARPA); United States Navy; United Nations Environmental Programme; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (administration, research and development techniques, business practices, reorganization, communication); Naval Research Laboratory (NRL); Navy Radiological Laboratory; National Academy of Sciences (NAS); Wallops Center; Dryden Flight Research Facility; Goddard Institute of Space Studies; Office of Naval Research (ONR); JASON Foundation for Education; Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA); Office of Management and Budget (OMB); SOLRAD (SOLar RADiation Satellite Program); Enterprise; Mansfield Amendment; CLOT test (combined loads orbiter test); Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO); VELA Program; Atomic bomb; relationships between US Navy and NASA; militarization of space exploration; space exploration policy; sonar navigation; musical theory and acoustics; project management theory; satellite communication systems; underwater acoustics and modelling; remote sensing; seismology; shuttle flight testing and preparation; I.I. Rabi; Henry Foley; Charles H. Townes; Ivan Tolstoy; Frank Press; Jimmy Carter, among others.

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D. C.
Abstract

This interview reviews Frosch's early schooling in the New York City Public School system, his education at Columbia University and, in detail, his varied career as a physicist and a science administrator, beginning with his work as a research scientist at Hudson Laboratory and then as Assistant Director and Director of the Theoretical Division. Other topics and affiliations discussed include: Advance Research Project Agency (ARPA); United States Navy; United Nations Environmental Programme; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (administration, research and development techniques, business practices, reorganization, communication); Naval Research Laboratory (NRL); Navy Radiological Laboratory; National Academy of Sciences (NAS); Wallops Center; Dryden Flight Research Facility; Goddard Institute of Space Studies; Office of Naval Research (ONR); JASON Foundation for Education; Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA); Office of Management and Budget (OMB); SOLRAD (SOLar RADiation Satellite Program); Enterprise; Mansfield Amendment; CLOT test (combined loads orbiter test); Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO); VELA Program; Atomic bomb; relationships between US Navy and NASA; militarization of space exploration; space exploration policy; sonar navigation; musical theory and acoustics; project management theory; satellite communication systems; underwater acoustics and modelling; remote sensing; seismology; shuttle flight testing and preparation; I.I. Rabi; Henry Foley; Charles H. Townes; Ivan Tolstoy; Frank Press; Jimmy Carter, among others.

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D. C.
Abstract

This interview reviews Frosch's early schooling in the New York City Public School system, his education at Columbia University and, in detail, his varied career as a physicist and a science administrator, beginning with his work as a research scientist at Hudson Laboratory and then as Assistant Director and Director of the Theoretical Division. Other topics and affiliations discussed include: Advance Research Project Agency (ARPA); United States Navy; United Nations Environmental Programme; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (administration, research and development techniques, business practices, reorganization, communication); Naval Research Laboratory (NRL); Navy Radiological Laboratory; National Academy of Sciences (NAS); Wallops Center; Dryden Flight Research Facility; Goddard Institute of Space Studies; Office of Naval Research (ONR); JASON Foundation for Education; Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA); Office of Management and Budget (OMB); SOLRAD (SOLar RADiation Satellite Program); Enterprise; Mansfield Amendment; CLOT test (combined loads orbiter test); Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO); VELA Program; Atomic bomb; relationships between US Navy and NASA; militarization of space exploration; space exploration policy; sonar navigation; musical theory and acoustics; project management theory; satellite communication systems; underwater acoustics and modelling; remote sensing; seismology; shuttle flight testing and preparation; I.I. Rabi; Henry Foley; Charles H. Townes; Ivan Tolstoy; Frank Press; Jimmy Carter, among others.

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D. C.
Abstract

This interview reviews Frosch's early schooling in the New York City Public School system, his education at Columbia University and, in detail, his varied career as a physicist and a science administrator, beginning with his work as a research scientist at Hudson Laboratory and then as Assistant Director and Director of the Theoretical Division. Other topics and affiliations discussed include: Advance Research Project Agency (ARPA); United States Navy; United Nations Environmental Programme; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (administration, research and development techniques, business practices, reorganization, communication); Naval Research Laboratory (NRL); Navy Radiological Laboratory; National Academy of Sciences (NAS); Wallops Center; Dryden Flight Research Facility; Goddard Institute of Space Studies; Office of Naval Research (ONR); JASON Foundation for Education; Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA); Office of Management and Budget (OMB); SOLRAD (SOLar RADiation Satellite Program); Enterprise; Mansfield Amendment; CLOT test (combined loads orbiter test); Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO); VELA Program; Atomic bomb; relationships between US Navy and NASA; militarization of space exploration; space exploration policy; sonar navigation; musical theory and acoustics; project management theory; satellite communication systems; underwater acoustics and modelling; remote sensing; seismology; shuttle flight testing and preparation; I.I. Rabi; Henry Foley; Charles H. Townes; Ivan Tolstoy; Frank Press; Jimmy Carter, among others.

Interviewed by
David DeVorkin
Interview date
Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D. C.
Abstract

This interview reviews Frosch's early schooling in the New York City Public School system, his education at Columbia University and, in detail, his varied career as a physicist and a science administrator, beginning with his work as a research scientist at Hudson Laboratory and then as Assistant Director and Director of the Theoretical Division. Other topics and affiliations discussed include: Advance Research Project Agency (ARPA); United States Navy; United Nations Environmental Programme; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (administration, research and development techniques, business practices, reorganization, communication); Naval Research Laboratory (NRL); Navy Radiological Laboratory; National Academy of Sciences (NAS); Wallops Center; Dryden Flight Research Facility; Goddard Institute of Space Studies; Office of Naval Research (ONR); JASON Foundation for Education; Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA); Office of Management and Budget (OMB); SOLRAD (SOLar RADiation Satellite Program); Enterprise; Mansfield Amendment; CLOT test (combined loads orbiter test); Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO); VELA Program; Atomic bomb; relationships between US Navy and NASA; militarization of space exploration; space exploration policy; sonar navigation; musical theory and acoustics; project management theory; satellite communication systems; underwater acoustics and modelling; remote sensing; seismology; shuttle flight testing and preparation; I.I. Rabi; Henry Foley; Charles H. Townes; Ivan Tolstoy; Frank Press; Jimmy Carter, among others.