Media Releases

U of T president hails PM Harper’s support for Canadian leadership in cutting-edge astronomy and astrophysics

April 6, 2015

TORONTO, ON – Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto, expressed delight on hearing today that the federal government will support a major role for Canada’s leading astronomers and astrophysicists in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project, an international initiative to build the world’s most powerful telescope.

“I thank and congratulate Prime Minister Harper and his government for this historic investment in world-leading Canadian science,” said Gertler. “As a result, astronomers and astrophysicists at U of T and their colleagues across the country are now in a position to make their full contribution to the most important discoveries of the coming decades – greater understanding of everything from how planets, stars and galaxies are formed to the very structure of the universe. The government’s decision puts Canada where it should be – on the global cutting edge of advanced research and innovation in this crucial, high-technology field.”

The federal government’s support for Canada’s participation in the TMT project enables Canadian astronomers and astrophysicists to collaborate as closely as possible with their peers at leading institutions around the world, including Caltech, the University of California, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Canada’s contributions will lead to the development of sophisticated new optical, mechanical, electrical and software systems, with implications for a range of industries.

“The construction of the TMT will require many years of effort across scientific disciplines and manufacturing sectors,” said Vivek Goel, U of T’s vice-president, research and innovation. “This investment will ensure that Canadian expertise and manufacturing capacity will be at the forefront of this ambitious effort.”

U of T’s astronomers and astrophysicists are among the best in the world, and the university is home to the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) and the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics. The university is a leading member of ACURA (the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy), which has identified the TMT project as a “highest priority”.

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