Shoshana Z. Weider, PhD
Shoshana Z. Weider is a Program Officer in the Planetary Science Division (PSD) at NASA Headquarters. Within the Research and Analysis Group, Shoshana leads the Lunar Data Analysis Program and the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter Participating Scientist Program. In addition, Shoshana serves as the Executive Scientist for PSD Division Director, Dr Lori Glaze, and acts the NASA Liaison for the Mercury Exploration Assessment Group (MExAG). She is also the Program Scientist for the NASA-contributed STROFIO payload on BepiColombo, the ESA/JAXA-led mission to Mercury. This mass spectrometer will be used to study Mercury’s exosphere when it enters Mercury’s orbit in 2025.
Before coming to NASA Headquarters in 2018, Shoshana spent several years as a science writer and editor. She worked as a science communicator—working on print and online projects, for a variety of audiences—for many leading institutions in Europe, including the European Space Agency’s European Space Research and Technology Centre, as well as the UK’s Diamond Light Source and Science Media Centre. In her role as a Senior Technical Editor for Form and Content Media Shoshana edited more than 600 technical articles for SPIE Newsroom and the Society of Plastics Engineers’ Plastics Research Online hub. She was also the Communications Manager for the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering at Imperial College London for two years.
Shoshana conducted her postdoctoral research at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC. Her research was focused on the analysis and interpretation of geochemical remote sensing data from terrestrial planets and the Moon. Specifically, Shoshana worked as part of NASA’s MESSENGER mission team and was responsible for data analysis from the spacecraft’s X-Ray Spectrometer. Her work was part of a major revolution in the understanding of Mercury’s surface chemistry and the history of the innermost planet as a whole.
Shoshana holds a PhD in Lunar Science from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Master of Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford. For her PhD, Shoshana worked with the UK team that built the Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Spectrometer. She combined the new data from that instrument with a variety of other remote sensing data sets to study the geochemistry of the lunar surface.
Passionate about science outreach, Shoshana often conducts school talks. She is the author of Moon Landings part of DK Children’s Readers Series. When not thinking about space, you will likely find Shoshana with her head in a book or enjoying an evening at the theatre or symphony.