ESOF2012 and the magic of particle physics

(This blog entry was written on July 15th 2012 and is taken from my old blog)

What an inspiring week it has been for anyone involved in science in Ireland. ESOF may have drawn to a close today, but Dublin City of Science will run throughout the year (phew!).

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the conference at the beautiful Convention Centre. Some of the sessions were fantastic and I also had the chance of meeting some lovely people involved in science journalism, science communication – and just science!

The highlight probably was meeting Prof Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN, for an interview which will be published in Trinity News – click here for a link to the interview -Pity I was too shy to ask him if I could have a picture of the two of us! Ah well, there’s always next time!? Before this week, for me and, I am sure, for many others, the world of particle physics was as alien as those creatures of the deep that live near hydrothermal vents. CERN’s announcement on July 4th of the discovery of this elusive boson generated huge interest and people in Ireland were lucky enough to have an army of experts on the subject descend on Dublin to answer all their questions! There have been live streamed talks, boson masterclasses, public events and great press coverage (not to mention the tweets!). Anyone with an interest in figuring out what the Higgs boson is, should have had their curiosity satisfied to some extent (however do read my piece coming out in tomorrow, hinthint) Related highlights included Brian Greene’s explanation of string theory and Stephen Myers’ visible emotion while recalling the CERN announcement.

My head is still spinning but it was a brilliant couple of days. A huge thank you goes to the organizers. Copenhagen 2014 will have to work hard to beat this


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