A Message from the Director of the National Science Foundation
July is an exciting time for astronomy, with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and this month, NSF has been celebrating our investments in astronomy and astrophysical research.
For almost 70 years, NSF has served as the federal steward for ground-based astronomy, and our support has significantly advanced the understanding of the universe. We provide funding for a variety of instruments across the country and around the world, including optical, infrared and radio telescopes, solar telescopes and detectors for gravitational waves and neutrinos.
Some of the most exciting, transformational results we experienced recently include LIGO, NSF’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, which researchers used to detect gravitational waves for the first time in 2015, and the NSF-supported Event Horizon Telescope, which captured the first-ever image of a black hole, unveiled this April.
When asked by the Boston Globe what our country’s next moonshot should be, I shared my belief that the further exploration of black holes by LIGO, EHT [the Event Horizon Telescope Project] and tools yet to be invented may answer outstanding questions about the origin, structure, and evolution of the universe — even unlocking the enigma of dark matter.
Earlier this month, I attended the premiere of a new IMAX film Secrets of the Universe, which was partly funded by NSF's Advancing Informal STEM Learning program. The film shows the progress of science since Galileo, helping audiences visualize some of the most complex science research currently underway, including an up-close, full-scale look at the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider. It was with the collider that international collaborators discovered the long-sought Higgs boson, the particle associated with the mechanism that explains why particles have inertial mass.
We hope that by sharing our #BroughtToYouByNSF campaign, we will help inspire you and the next generation of young scientists and astronomers. After all, for many of us the stars first sparked our curiosity.
Dr. France A. Cόrdova
Director, National Science Foundation Visit my blog!
Aug 1--Dr. France Cόrdova gives brief remarks at the NYC: Constellation Forum where an elite group of executives, investors, philanthropists and entrepreneurs convene to form strategic partnerships and elevate the field of health innovation.