Dr. Matt Mountain became Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in September 2005. In taking over the 500-person institute responsible for the science operations of Hubble Space Telescope, as well as the future mission and science operations of its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, Mountain was quoted by Nature (2005), “This is a very successful institution with a very motivated staff, and I think they feel that their past record justifies their continued existence,” he says. “That’s an understandable motivation, but it’s not sufficient. We’re going to have to earn our future.”
In 2009 the Hubble Space Telescope was finally serviced for the last time, and the Institute played a key role in the science priorities of that mission. The science productivity of HST subsequently increased beyond its already unprecedented level: the science community exploiting both Hubble’s new science capabilities and the Hubble Legacy Archive run by STScI. The Institute today is also deeply engaged in preparing for the science operations of the James Webb Space Telescope due to launch in 2018. The objective is to ensure the astronomical community can fully exploit the enormous new science potential of this “HST 2.0” from day one.
Dr. Mountain is also the Telescope Scientist for JWST, appointed by NASA in 2002, and a member of the JWST Science Working Group. Dr. Mountain is a Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Physics and Astronomy; fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and a member of the American Astronomical Society and the International Society for Optical Engineering.