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Revealing the Cosmos: A Startling New View From the James Webb Space Telescope

Friday, July 7, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EST

In the year since it became fully operational, the James Webb Space Telescope has provided breathtaking new images of the cosmos that are confirming some of scientists’ predictions while challenging others. Looking farther back than ever before, the telescope has revealed that the universe’s earliest galaxies seem to be brighter and more massive than expected. And closer to home, the telescope is highlighting planets beyond earth with the potential to harbor life.

Nobel Laureate John Mather is NASA’s top scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope, and for a quarter century ushered the project from conception to reality. Together with five top astronomers and astrophysicists – Michele Bannister of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand; Jessie Christiansen of NASA; Karl Glazebrook of Swinburne University of Technology in Australia; Stefanie Milam, also of NASA; and Benjamin Pope of the University of Queensland in Australia – Mather joins Brian Greene for a live conversation about the wonders that the James Webb Space Telescope is revealing and the potential of the telescope to revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos.

This program is part of the Big Ideas series, supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

The live program was presented at the 2023 World Science Festival Brisbane, hosted by the Queensland Museum.


Brian GreenePhysicist, Author

Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, and is recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in his field of superstring theory. His books, The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and The Hidden Reality, have collectively spent 65 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list.

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Michele BannisterAstronomer

Michele Bannister is a Royal Society Te Apārangi Rutherford Discovery Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. She is a planetary astronomer who researches planets …

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Jessie ChristiansenAstronomer

Christiansen is NASA’s Exoplanet Archive Task Scientist. As such, she works to maintain and enhance the capabilities of the NASA Exoplanet Archive to provide data and tools to the community …

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Karl GlazebrookAstronomer

Karl Glazebrook is a Distinguished Professor of Astronomy at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. Karl is an observational astronomer whose research interests …

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John MatherAstrophysicist, NASA
Nobel Laureate

Nobel Laureate John Mather’s research in cosmology as part of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) team has been recognized as some of the most important work of the 20th century.

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Stefanie MilamAstronomer

Stefanie Milam is Deputy Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA. Her observational focus is on the composition of primitive bodies, such as comets and asteroids, and …

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Benjamin PopeAstronomer

Benjamin Pope is a Lecturer in Astrophysics & ARC DECRA Fellow at the University of Queensland. He is interested in the direct imaging of exoplanets and is co-investigator on three …

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