OK, so they are keeping mum. Cat got their tongue. But there are some things the reader can watch for.

One of these is the Mather-Nobel Scholarship. It is something that has been instituted by John Mather with his own money, and in the first year (2008), was given to a few summer interns at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. These kids then have the right to call themselves the Mather-Nobel Scholars. You can do a Google image search and see who these recipients are.

What will happen in the summer of 2009? Will this award be given out again? Will NASA-GSFC collaborate in this, or will the award be hosted elsewhere? Will the kids chosen feel honored by this award?

My prediction: The award will not be given.

Here’s another thing to watch for: Will the new NASA Administrator redeem Mather and give him an appropriate stature in NASA? Or will he leave Mather where he is today?

My prediction: The new Administrator will leave the matter alone.

Will the academic scientific establishment redeem the greatest discoverer of all times by giving him a high chair in a high institution?

My prediction: No.

What is the grand design behind this deafening silence from all the parties concerned?

My analysis: Mather is to ease into honorable retirement and drop out of visibility. This will save everyone’s butt.


On 19 February 2009, the Henry Foundation reported that they received a significant grant from John Mather’s foundation to support interns at NASA GSFC. This would seem to suggest that the 2009 Mather Nobel Scholar program is on at GSFC. A new crop of bright students will have their names linked to the Mather name – thanks to the Henry Foundation and GSFC. Last year the announcement of the awards took place on 21 July 2008.


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