Research Director's Report
18 September 2008
What becomes of the WWS?
This month's Research Director's Report was written by François Richard, co-chair of the Worldwide Study, regional detector contact for Europe
The readers of ILC NewsLine are by now well acquainted with the fast evolution occurring in the realm of Physics and Detector Management. For an up-to-date description of the Research Directorate see the new Physics and Detectors web page. Recall that the starting point has been the World Wide Study, WWS, organised in 1998 and initially in charge of monitoring the progress of these activities through regional and worldwide workshops. The WWS has also set up a number of general panels dealing for example with R&D on detectors, software coordination and the machine-detector interface (MDI) in collaboration with the Global Design Effort. When needed, the WWS has created specialised panels, for example for the RDR a costing panel.
At the beginning of 2007, during the ACFA (Asian Committee for Future Accelerators) meeting in Beijing, the WWS started intense discussions about a new organisation for detector development in phase with the GDE roadmap. A specially created panel issued a proposal to the International Linear Collider Steering Committee (ILCSC) which resulted in the present structure. During this period, the WWS, through the three co-chairs, has maintained a continuous dialogue with the GDE by participating in the monthly Executive Committee meetings of the GDE. When possible WWS workshops take place in conjunction with the GDE. The WWS also reports on its activities at each ILCSC through one of the co-chairs.
Now that all the managerial functions are taken care of by the Research Director and his team, the WWS has decided to stop the activities of its panels. Some might naively conclude that the only job left to the WWS, albeit clearly a very important one, is to organise workshops. I don't think that this is the case. From my contacts with the participants to the last ECFA (European Committee for Future Accelerators) meeting in Warsaw, I conclude that the WWS plays a new role: to maintain a tight contact between the participants of these workshops and the managing bodies. The present evolution in our organisation, in spite of the communication efforts, is not always well understood and we need a continuous feedback to avoid any serious mismatch with our large and diverse community: theorists, phenomenologists, experimentalists working on detector R&D, software developers, young physicists, accelerator experts, engineers, managers, communicators...
When it will come to tough choices for the machine parameters dictated for example by the findings at the LHC and/or by financial or technical constraints, it will be essential that there is good dialogue between the community and the ILC management. I believe that the WWS remains the appropriate body to take care of this crucial aspect. The actual way in which such a function is insured will be discussed with the various partners involved (regional bodies, Research Director, ILCSC), and I hope that we can all soon get an agreement on this important issue.
-- François Richard