Nobel Prize Winner Talks About TMT Challenges

Oct 16, 2020

Nobel Prize-winning astronomer Andrea Ghez says she hopes to work through issues surrounding the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.

Ghez shared this year’s Nobel Prize in physics for her work identifying a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

She did the research using the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, a facility she began working with more than 25 years ago.

She told Science Friday that “hard conversations” are needed to address the “complicated and thorny” issues on the mountain.

“Having two disparate points of view is ultimately the way of finding a more creative solution," she said. "What I hope ultimately is having a better collaboration between the scientific community and the native Hawaiians will help us arrive at a solution that's right for all of humanity.”

Last year, Ghez’s work at Keck Observatory was interrupted by protests. The builders of the TMT project say work will not resume until at least next summer.  

The entire interview with Ghez airs today at 1 p.m. on Science Friday on HPR-1. It also streams on hawaiipublicradio.org and on our mobile app.