Art McDonald, Sudbury SNOLAB Nobel Prize winner, wants to share 'limelight'

He may now be an internationally acclaimed Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist, but Art McDonald still says the glory — and new-found celebrity status — is rightly shared by his colleagues at Sudbury's SNOLAB.

Globally celebrated astrophysicist says 'fairy tale' award recognizes the great science happening in Sudbury

Art McDonald is a co-winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on tiny particles known as neutrinos. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

He may now be an internationally acclaimed Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist, but Art McDonald still says the glory — and newfound celebrity status — is rightly shared by his colleagues at Sudbury's SNOLAB.

McDonald was back in Sudbury on Thursday to speak with high school science students about his work, and to thank the community for its support.

"I'm hoping that this [Nobel] prize will inspire some people to consider science as a career," he said. "If there is a celebrity aspect to it, I'm trying to see if I can use it in a sensible way." 

There is definitely a celebrity aspect to winning the high-profile Nobel Prize: McDonald has been showered with praise and bombarded with interview and speaking invitations ever since. 

Still, McDonald insists, he didn't solve a riddle of the universe alone. 

"[I'm] trying to share the limelight, if I can, with my colleagues. We had many, many people who contributed to this project. and that's really why I'm here today."

As for whether he thinks all of the attention on the prize will boost the profile — and possible funding — of the SNOLAB, McDonald said he couldn't speculate. 

"I think, in general, the recognition that we've obtained ... is a statement that the science that we're doing is of the highest quality — we ourselves thought that was the case, anyway!"

Listen to the complete interview with Art McDonald here


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