29 May 2008
Establishing an Asian science communication network
Today's issue features a Director's Corner from Mitsuaki Nozaki, GDE Asian Regional Director.
If you were a university professor and wanted good graduate students in your research group, what would you do? You'd surely advertise high-energy physics in your class or conduct a campaign in the physics department. However, what if good students have already escaped to the other departments, for example bio-science? What if good students have gone to other universities? You need to advertise physics first, or your university first.
|New office preparing for the Asian communication network. from left: Heasook Han, Nobuko Kobayashi, and Emiko Yanagisawa.|
In the same way, if we want to promote the International Linear Collider, we need to initiate a much broader campaign for physics or basic science in general. For the majority of people, the difference between the ILC and a B factory accelerator means nothing because not all of the decision makers in the government have scientific backgrounds, and the same thing can be said about the general public. For ILC communication, communicators, who understand the way of thinking of the general public (I believe physicists are more than three standard deviations away) play an essential role.
The cost estimated during the Reference Design Report was quite high, so we have to continue to struggle with further cost reduction. However, we also need to increase the added value of the ILC. That is one of the reasons why we need communicators.
Fortunately the ILC community has capable communicators from 3 regions. They have done and are doing a very good job. Their contribution is significant in promoting the ILC. Therefore I try to extend the communicators' network to the Asian region. Although Asian countries are in a different political and economic climate, I believe that the promotion of basic science such as physics or cutting-edge accelerator technology will benefit every country. It will bring up people of the next generation and also underpins competitiveness of industry. We need help from Asian communicators so that the promotion can eventually cultivate an atmosphere to support a big basic science project like ILC.
-- Mitsuaki Nozaki