Catherine McKenna Visits Carleton to Highlight Research

By Lucy Juneau
Photos by Mike Pinder

Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, visited Carleton University on Oct. 18 to announce an investment of nearly $5 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to support research infrastructure at the university.

McKenna also highlighted Carleton’s significant contributions to science in general.

“I’m excited to see Canadian researchers leading cutting edge research right here at Carleton,” said McKenna. “It goes to show Canada can punch way above its weight by coming up with innovative research.”

McKenna also toured New Eyes on the Universe, a travelling exhibit about scientific experments at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) and SNOLAB, a science facility two kilometres below the surface of the earth at the nickel mine in Sudbury, Ont.

“I am not a scientist. This exhibit helps me understand an area I really don’t know,” said McKenna. “It gives you a better sense of what the researchers are talking about and what’s going on. It translates complex ideas for folks like me who would otherwise never understand.”

The exhibit features the project DEAP—a SNOLAB experiment which searches for dark matter, one of the universe’s biggest mysteries. Carleton Prof. Mark Boulay, a physicist, is working on DEAP.

“This exhibit is a great opportunity to educate the public and share what we do,” said Boulay. “CFI has made an amazing contribution and it’s helping my division really push on more collaborative programs incorporating multiple institutions. This funding is going to facilitate that collaboration going forward.”

The exhibit has been open since Oct. 3 and will continue until Oct. 23.

“We’ve had a lot of people through already,” said Carleton President Alastair J.S. Summerlee. “It’s amazing to watch people understand how . . . absolutely astonishing it is and then watch the students think: ‘Wow, I could be involved with this.’”

For CFI President Roseann O’Reilly Runte, inspiring the next generation of scientists is critical.

“Canadian science affects every aspect of our lives” said Runte, a former Carleton president. “If people have really good experience learning logical research and knowing how to use their brains to their best abilities, then we will solve problems and make our communities better.” For more information about the exhibit visit: https://science.carleton.ca/new-eyes-on-the-universe.