Professor Tadeusz Wibig – Science Promoter of 2017

Professor Tadeusz Wibig. Photograph from a private archive
Professor Tadeusz Wibig. Photograph from a private archive

The main prize in the PAP and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education Competition for science promoters – for the achievements related to science popularization – Was awarded to prof. Tadeusz Wibig from the Faculty of Applied Physics and Computer Science at the University of Łódź and from the Astrophysics Division at the National Centre for Nuclear Research in Łódź.

The results from the 13th edition of the Science Promoters 2017 competition were announced in Warsaw on Monday January 15, during a gala at the Copernicus Science Center. Among others, in the event participated the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, Minister of Science and Higher Education, Mr Jarosław Gowin and the President of the Polish Press Agency, Mr Wojciech Surmacz.

The award honors the rich activity of the Professor related to popularization of science.

Professor Wibig has been popularizing physics and mathematics for over a dozen years, while continuously looking for new interesting forms of reaching out to young adepts of science. In a series of 17 stories about Hieronim, he presents various concepts in the field of mathematics and the history of science. We travel with Hieronim through ages and while accompanying him in solving mysteries, we learn new mathematical concepts. The professor brings physics closer to school students in the Łódź region by bringing simple artifacts in his backpack, thanks to which they can independently conduct experiments within the project „Physics on the way."

The Professor’s mission is also to help particularly talented students to enter the path of academic career. Within the Roland Maze’s project, implemented by the Łódź-based NCBJ team of physicists, Tadeusz Wibig has given high school students an opportunity to build their own equipment for performing experiments in cosmic radiation physics, to collect data and even to present their research results at an international conference in Lisbon. In another project, carried out by the professor and his PhD student from Thailand, students from junior high schools were included in research activities within areas of physics, ecology, biology and nuclear physics. Using the latest laboratory technologies in the field of nuclear physics, they determined heavy metals content in the environment. Number of children involved in this research is high, with more than a hundred from Poland, Thailand and from Russia participating in it.

In addition, Professor Wibig has been organizing for the last 10 years a competition „Physics can be liked” within the Łódź Branch of the Polish Physics Society. School students from all over Poland write essays on specific topics related to physics or participate in group experiments. Every year, the competition attracts about 200 people. Its finale takes place during the Festival of Science, Technology and Art. in Łódź.

Professor Wibig also assists in running a one-day workshop „CERN- Masterclasses” for Łódź high school students which is organized annually by the NCBJ team.

On January 15, prof. Tadeusz Wibig Was presented this year award for the achievements related to popularization of science, The PAP justification states: „A physicist examines high-energy particles that reach the Earth from space. He dedicates his energy to attract successive generations to exact sciences. For many years, he has been voluntarily working at the basis: he travels to schools for conducting lessons, runs competitions, writes fiction stories popularizing mathematics and articles about eccentric physicists. Professor Wibig includes students in the academic community by making possible for them to publish their essays and making them co-authors of articles published in scientific journals.”

Prof. Tadeusz Wibig scientific work in the NCBJ Astrophysics Division covers a wide range of research related to solving the mystery of origin of high energy cosmic rays. The research includes studying energy spectrum, anisotropy and composition of mass cosmic radiation. It also includes analysis and detailed description of various aspects of the mechanisms of particle production in the studies of large cosmic rays for the highest energy and in the lower energy accelerator experiments (LHC).

The laureate has given an interesting interview to Radio for You.

The Science Promoter competition is organized, in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, by the Science in Poland service of the Polish Press Agency. The people and institutions, which help others better understand the world and are able to awake interest about scientific achievements in non-scientists, are rewarded in this competition.

In 2007, in the third edition, in scientist or scientific institution category, the award Was given to the NCBJ predecessor – the Andrzej Sołtan Institute for Nuclear Studies in Świerk.

The professor is another laureate associated with the institute in Świerk.

Before him the prize Was awarded to:

  • Dr Marek Pawłowski, the spokesperson at the Andrzej Sołtan Institute for Nuclear Studies in Świerk, VI edition – 2010, in the Distinction for press officers at universities, scientific and research organizations category.
  • Mgr Marek Sieczkowski, the spokesperson at the National Centre for Nuclear Research, XI edition – 2015, in the editor Tomasz Trzciński Distinction for the model information policy category.
Professor Tadeusz Wibig. Photograph from a private archive
Professor Tadeusz Wibig. Photograph from a private archive