Minister Rzymkowski visits AstroCeNT

On the 1st of June 2022 AstroCeNT was visited by Dr Tomasz Rzymkowski, Vice Minister of Education and Science, who was accompanied by Professor Grzegorz Górski, Rector of Jagiellonian College in Toruń. The purpose of the visit of our distinguished guests was twofold: to learn more about the field of particle astrophysics, including the research done at AstroCeNT, and to meet with an initiative group to build in Poland an underground laboratory.

The guests first met AstroCeNT’s scientific and administrative staff, visited our electronic laboratory and other facilities and heard a presentation by Professor Leszek Roszkowski on the opportunities and the potential of particle astrophysics, as well as on the fast-growing role that AstroCeNT has been playing in Poland and beyond. This was followed by short presentations by all team leaders about their main research objectives, as well as some highlights of their achievements so far and plans for the future. The meeting was held in a warm and informal atmosphere. Our guests showed much interest in the field of particle astrophysics, including the role it can play in stimulating growth of high-tech economy in Poland and in strengthening the international standing of Polish scientists in the field.

Next our guest and AstroCeNT’s team leaders moved on to a meeting devoted to an initiative to build in Poland a dedicated underground laboratory. They were joined by some representatives of several institutions involved in the project: Prof. Jan Kisiel (Univ. of Silesia), Prof. Renata Kierepko (Institute of Nuclear Physics PAS), as well as Dr Paweł Krajewski (director of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection) and Dr Eng. Katarzyna Wołoszczuk (also Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection).

Several short presentations were first given to give a base for a discussion. To start with, Dr Andreas Haungs (Karlshrue Institute of Technology) in his role of a current head of APPEC joined remotely and gave a European perspective and strong support for underground laboratories and need for their greater cooperation. This was followed with talks by Prof. Roszkowski, Prof. Kisiel, Prof. Kierepko and Dr Eng. Wołoszczuk.

The Vice Minister showed much interest in the initiative and encouraged the group to produce a report with more information about possible sites and about the role that the Polish underground laboratory could play in Polish science and economy, both locally and an international level.