Boson the Fourth of July
Yesterday was a big day for science, and luckily the internet was on hand to give us a live stream of reliable information and the CERN press conference (which is more than CNN could manage).
Why is it important? Here are some really useful Higgs links:
- What is the Higgs boson? Guardian video by Ian Sample
- CERN press release “CERN experiments observe particle with long-sought Higgs boson“
- Now the real work begins – Guardian roundup of what happens next
This whole exercise is a great example of internationalism in science and is probably the world’s biggest group 4 project. It showcases the scientific method perfectly, as Adam Rutherford tweeted:
"We need more data, surprise surprise". Fabiola Gianotti. Science in a nutshell: it's a process, not a result.—
Adam Rutherford (@AdamRutherford) July 04, 2012
After the PR disaster of the EU’s hopelessly patronising Science: It’s a Girl Thing campaign, it was great to see a real inspiration to girls and boys take the stage – Fabiola Gianotti.
The other trending Twitter topic
Then, of course, there were the shenanigans with the presentation of the data.
And a few minutes later…
And suddenly the term Comic Sans started to trend on Twitter, almost catching up to the main event itself:
But did it matter?
I would like to think not, but it does bug me a little. This perhaps the most ambitious science experiment ever, with a fascinating result. The science deserved to be the centre of attention and although it was funny at the time, I was saddened to see the limelight being pulled away from the work by their poor choice of delivery. The crowded, comic sans slides made it difficult to read on the webcast where a simpler font and fewer items per screen may have packed more of a punch.
It must have taken them many hours to prepare all those slides – why not spend some of the time thinking about how it will be received by the world?
Nevertheless, it marked a great moment in science. Long may it continue.
Peter Higgs: ""To me it's really an incredible thing that it's happened in my lifetime," he says, choking back tears.—
Nature News&Comment (@NatureNews) July 04, 2012
The next challenge , with so many scientists working on the project, is to decided how the Nobel prize will be awarded.