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June 1, 2023 34 mins


Maryam Esmat, a Forbes Middle East 30 Under 30 honoree, returns for the second part of her interview. In this episode, Maryam shares the work she’s done for NASA by AURA on the James Webb Space Telescope, her current research on the topic of dark matter, and the rarity of Arabs in the physics realm. 

Join us to hear how Maryam is mentoring the next generation and paving the way for students looking to follow in her footsteps. 

Episode Summary 

  • 02:00 - Maryam reflects on her time at the Space Telescope Science Institute, working on the James Webb Space Telescope. 
  • 05:29 - Maryam mentions two separate projects she worked on with the James Webb Telescope — (1) calibrating the space telescope AND (2) informing exoplanet scientists on how to use it.  
  • 07:27 - How did Maryam react to being chosen for the Forbes Middle East 30 under 30
  • 09:14 - Maryam explains dark matter, what it is, and why it’s important.  
  • 15:32 - Maryam talks about her experiences collaborating with scientists, including the HAYSTAC collaboration and Dr. Katelyn Breivik
  • 20:11 - Maryam debunks common misconceptions about the astrophysicist community, and how she believes people should view them. 
  • 23:28 - Maryam touches on being one of the only Arabs, especially women, in the physics and astrophysics space. 
  • 26:25 - Maryam gives a PSA to all Arab physicists out there in the world — contact her — she’s part of a Discord channel that connects Arab physicists worldwide! 
  • 27:07 - Maryam highlights how important it’s been to her to mentor students, from helping them apply to U.S. institutions through EducationUSA to now mentoring them in astrophysics and creative writing. 
  • 29:00 - Maryam shares her advice for students looking to study in the U.S. 



James Webb Space Telescope

Space Telescope Science Institute 

Forbes 30 Under 30

Dark Matter

Haloscope at Yale Sensitive to Axion CDN

Katelyn Breivik

Guest Information



Study at Lycoming College

Study Astrophysics and Astronomy in the USA

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