Thomas J. ''Jay'' MATHEWS est journaliste au Washington Post. Il a sa propre rubrique que l'on peut lire sur le site du journal. La rubrique s'appelle Class Struggle (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/class-struggle/).
C'est un journaliste spécialisé dans les sciences et l'éducation.
En 1986, il est un des 40 journalistes américains sélectionnés par la NASA pour le programme Journalist in Space. Mais, après l'accident de Challenger, le programme est remis en question, puis finalement annulé...
Interview réalisée en 2010.
Why have you decide to become candidate for NASA Journalist in Space selection ?
A : I was one of those kids who read Robert Heinlein and other science fiction, and wanted to be an astronomer when I grew up. My career goals change but i remained fascinated by space and a supporter of human exploration.
Q : What was your job during this selection and what is your activity currently ? Why have you choose a journalist career ?
A : I was the Post's L.A. bureau chief. I choose journalism originally as a way to get to China.
Q : I suppose you would like to go in space. But why ?
A : That's the future. I would like to get a sense of what it feels like.
Q : Did you think it's important for the mankind to have a step in space, to send man in space and why ?
A : It is the obvious future of our species. We are an explorer race. If the governments can't afford it, private groups will find the money.
Q : What represent for you Yuri Gagarin ?
A : Not sure I understand the question. He was a great man who took an enormous risk for the future.
Q : What represent for you Apollo 11 ? Which memory(ies) have you of this event ?
A : I had just come back from serving in Vietnam as a soldier, and was at Middlebury College polishing my Chinese before I went to graduate school. It was terrifically exciting, even on the little black and white TV in the student lounge.
Q : What will be your most incredible space dream ?
A : The first persons to land on an extra solar planet. What will they find? But more than that, the first contact with intelligent life beyond earth.