A special session devoted to AstroCeNT was held on the second day of the 4th biennial conference of Particle Astrophysics in Poland (20-21 May 2019).
The main highlight of the session, and of the whole conference, was a public talk entitled “Understanding Our Universe from Deep Underground” by Dr Art McDonald (Queen’s University, Canada), the 2015 Nobel Prize winner in Physics.
Also featured was the joint announcement of Dr McDonald and Prof. Leszek Roszkowski of AstroCeNT’s decision to formally join a major new initiative, the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration, that has recently formed and now includes nearly 70 institutes from 13 countries.
The event gathered a number of distinguished guests, including: Mr Juliusz Szymczak-Gałkowski, the director of the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Mr Pierre Lévy, the ambassador of the French Republic in Poland, Mr Aldo Amati, the ambassador of the Italian Republic in Poland, Mr Francis Dorsemaine, the Senior Trade Commissioner from the Embassy of Canada, Prof. Stavros Katsanevas, the director of the European Gravitational Organization and chair of the International Scientific Committee of AstroCeNT, Prof. Fernando Ferroni, the president of the Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Prof. Maciej Żylicz, the president of the Foundation for Polish Science, Dr Nigel Smith, the director of Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNOLab). Also invited and present at the session were, among others: Prof. Rajmund Bacewicz, Deputy Rector for Science of the Warsaw University of Technology, Dr Michał Pietras, the director of International programs at the Foundation for Polish Science, Kinga Słomińska, the director of the International Agenda Programme at the Foundation for Polish Science, Dr Fouad Elgindy, the deputy director of the McDonald Institute at Queen’s University and Prof. Sotiris Loucatos, the deputy director of the Astroparticule et Cosmologie (APC) Laboratory (which is AstroCeNT’s strategic partner) and a member of the International Scientific Committee of AstroCeNT, as well as Prof. Andrzej Jajszczyk. The meeting also was attended by members of the International Scientific Committee of AstroCeNT, Prof. Piotr Życki and Prof. Rafał Moderski, respectively the director and deputy director of the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center PAS, as well as by members of CAMK PAS Scientific Council.
After brief welcoming remarks of Prof. Bacewicz (as local host) and Prof. Życki, short speeches were given by Mr Szymczak-Gałkowski, Mr Lévy and Mr Amati. Next, Prof. Żylicz presented International Research Agenda and other programs of FNP, which was followed by the public talk of Dr McDonald.
Subsequently Prof. S. Katsanevas spoke about EGO and European Road Map for Astroparticle Physics and Prof. C. Galbiati (Princeton University and GSSI, leader of the DarkSide Collaboration and member of the International Scientific Committee of AstroCeNT) gave a talk on “The DarkSide Program of Dark Matter Searches and Its Broader Impact”. The session was ended by Prof. Roszkowski (head of AstroCeNT) who presented AstroCeNT’s achievements after nearly one year of operations and its plans for the future.