‘You Just Do It’: Paul Guèye Earns National Distinction
In 1876, Edward Alexander Bouchet became the first African American to earn a doctorate in physics and the sixth person to graduate with a doctorate in physics from an American university. In 1994, the American Physical Society, or APS, established an annual award in his name to celebrate his legacy and the continuing contributions of physicists from underrepresented groups.
Today, the APS announced that it has selected Michigan State University’s Paul Guèye as the 2022 Edward A. Bouchet Award winner. APS recognized Guèye for his “many seminal experimental contributions to understanding the structure of nuclear particles and decades of service to physics outreach, diversity and inclusion.”
“I’m very appreciative of the selection committee and the team that nominated me,” said Guèye, an associate professor of nuclear physics at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, and in MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.
“There are a lot of people out there doing awesome and exciting work, doing really great work that will advance the planet and humankind,” said Guèye. “I’m just really humbled that I was selected for this award.”
Talking with Guèye, it seems like humility comes naturally to him, which is not to say he is unaware of the impact of his work. Throughout his career, he’s developed tools and techniques to help understand the fundamental particles of nature and how they interact. He’s also applied his skills and knowledge to medicine, developing technologies that are starting to be commercialized for use in cancer research.
“My contributions make me proud, like any other scientist, but that’s not why we do it,” he said. “We do science because we are passionate about it. We love being part of an experiment, discussing ideas in the hallway — a lot of it, we don’t even think about. It’s like waking up and eating breakfast. You just do it.”
Read the full story at MSU Today.