Two Nobel Prize Winners Visited AstroCeNT (+photo gallery)

On the 22-23th of February 2023 AstroCeNT team had the honor of hosting two Nobel laureates in physics, Prof. Arthur B. McDonald (Canada) and Prof. Barry C. Barish (USA). The reason for their visit to Poland was the World Copernican Congress, which officially opened in Toruń on the 19th of February 2023, on the 550th anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus, an icon of Polish and world science.
In addition to its great importance in the field of science popularization, the event was an opportunity to widely present the AstroCeNT project financed from the Foundation of Polish Science within the program of International Research Agendas (Smart Growth Operational Programme, Priority Axis 4, Measure 4.3) co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund.
 On the occasion of the Nobel laureates’ visit, a large-scale event was organized by AstroCeNT. The public talks entitled “Exploring the Hidden Universe” by Prof. McDonald and Prof. Barish were a resounding success and attracted more than 250 listeners. All participants were comfortably accommodated in a modern and well-equipped conference hall provided bythe Warsaw University of Technology, a partner in organizing the event. The other partners were: National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ), Polish Astronomical Society, Polish Physical Society and University of Warsaw. Honorary patronage was granted to the event by the Ministry of Education and Science (MEiN) and National Center for Research and Development (NCBR).
Among the invited guests who came to the event were: Vice-Minister of Education and Science Mr Wojciech Murdzek, diplomats, chairman of the Foundation for Polish Science, rectors, vice-rectors and deans of Polish and foreign universities and scientific centres: Warsaw University of Technology, University of Warsaw, Polish Academy of Sciences (Institute of Physics, Center for Theoretical Physics, Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre), National Centre for Nuclear Research, Laboratoire AstroParticule et Cosmologie in Paris (APC), Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Cosmology & Gravity Program (CIFAR), National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (CNRS).
The audience gathered many scientists, students and the general public. The event was covered by television and press, and on the 24th February a report on the visit of the Nobel laureates and AstroCeNT as the hosting institution was aired on Polish Radio One. A week later, a story about the event appeared on Polish television TVP Nauka in the program “Raport Naukowy”.
Welcome speeches were given by: Vice-Minister Murdzek, the director of CAMK PAN, Prof. Rafał Moderski and the Vice-Rector of the Warsaw University of Technology, Prof. Mirosław Karpierz. The head of AstroCeNT, Prof. Leszek Roszkowski, was the host of the meeting. The Nobel laureates presented their scientific work and research that led to groundbreaking discoveries in the field of physics. A Q&A session with the speakers was held at the end of the meeting and was moderated by Prof. Cristiano Galbiati (Princeton University).


After the event, the organizers received much positive feedback about the excellent organization and interesting topics of the meeting. Professional video and photography were taken during the lectures, and the material can be found under the link.
On the following day, Professors McDonald and Barish visited the AstroCeNT office and laboratory, chatted with group leaders, doctoral and postdoctoral students and administration staff in an informal atmosphere.
Preparation of their visit at AstroCeNT required a lot of work and commitment from our team. However, the unforgettable emotions and satisfaction we obtained from meeting such amazing people are difficult to overestimate.
We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our partners, patrons and everyone who contributed to the success of the event. We thank our invited guests, as well as to everyone who came to share this afternoon with us! Our special thanks go to our esteemed guests, Prof. Arthur McDonald and Prof. Barry Barish, for coming and making this event happen!