Innovation in Space and Beyond: Meet former NASA Science Chief Thomas Zurbuchen

Come and learn from Thomas Zurbuchen, the former Science Chief at NASA. He will share insight into his work around the current mission of the James Webb telescope, and reflect on innovation and team work in science.

Join us

Join us on April 18, 2023, as we welcome Swiss-American astrophysicist Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, the former Science Chief at NASA, for a special talk about the role that teamwork plays in innovation and pushing scientific boundaries in the field of space research.

Having led the team for the development of the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer on NASA’s Messenger spacecraft, as well as having launched 37 missions (including that of the James Webb Space Telescope and of the Perseverance and Ingenuity Mars Landings) during his time at NASA, Dr. Z possesses an incredible wealth of knowledge on experimental space research and on the value of teamwork in bringing innovative projects to life.

His talk will also touch upon how his work has been fueled by his keen interest in trying to answer some of humanity’s thorniest questions, such as “Where do we come from?” and “Are we alone in the universe?” and how our pursuit of such knowledge can have positive real world impacts. His speech will be followed by a conversation with science journalist Dr. Nadia Drake and will be concluded by a moderated Q&A with the audience. This event will be a remarkable opportunity for two space and science enthusiasts to talk to each other about space research, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the future of our continued pursuit of knowledge.



  • 5:30pm – Doors open
  • 6:00pm – Welcome by Swissnex and the Consul General of Switzerland, followed by a talk by Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen
  • 6:30pm – Conversation between Dr. Nadia Drake and Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen
  • 7:00pm – Questions from the audience, moderated by Dr. Nadia Drake
  • 7:30pm – Networking
  • 8:30pm – Event ends

Event start time