Fermilab’s Bonnie Fleming newly elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Media contact

Bonnie Fleming, the chief research officer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Mathematical and Physical Sciences. As chief research officer, Fleming leads all areas of science and technology at Fermilab.

Bonnie Fleming is a 2024 member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab

Fleming has made significant contributions to neutrino research by pioneering a class of detectors called Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers. This technology provided a giant leap forward in how scientists may study the varying states of neutrinos and how the subatomic particles might interact with matter. These detectors are the core to Fermilab’s neutrino experiments, including the future international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

“Fleming has a long history of research excellence at Fermilab and we are proud to have her at the helm of our science and technology efforts,” said Fermilab Director Lia Merminga. “Her work has opened the possibility to future discoveries in neutrino research and the knowledge these fundamental particles can provide us about our universe.”

Fleming was one of the 250 new members that were elected from 1,250 nominations this year. The American Academy of Arts & Sciences is one of America’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and recognizes world leaders in the arts and sciences, business, philanthropy, and public affairs. Elected members join other experts to explore challenges facing society, identify solutions, and promote nonpartisan recommendations that advance the public good.

Notable physicist members include Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Neil deGrasse Tyson, J. Robert Oppenheimer and many more of the world’s greatest thinkers and scholars.

Fleming began her career at Fermilab working on the Neutrinos at the Tevatron experiment as a graduate student from Columbia University.  Following this, as a Lederman Fellow, she worked on MiniBooNE and started her work on Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers. From 2004 to 2022, Fleming led a research group studying neutrinos as a professor at Yale University while also performing research at Fermilab. She was the founding spokesperson for the two neutrino experiments, ArgoNeuT and MicroBooNE, focusing on studying neutrinos and developing the next generation of accelerator neutrino detectors using liquid argon, and was an early member of DUNE.

Fleming earned a Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University and currently serves as a member of the National Academies Decadal Survey in particle physics. Fleming also holds a joint appointment with the University of Chicago in the Enrico Fermi Institute within the Department of Physics.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.