I’d like to say a huge thank you for voting for me in the Particle Physics Zone! When I signed up for the event, I had completely wrong ideas about it:
I thought I’d spend maybe two hours a day on it. Well, it turned out that it was more like half of every day spent answering questions, joining every single chat session that was set up, or, if nothing else happened, checking regularly whether there are any new questions or comments for me. I didn’t get much work done during those two weeks. 🙂
I thought I wouldn’t get very far. I kept writing way longer responses than I thought I should, wondering whether I bored you to death or whether you would even take the time to read all that. Plus, some of the statements I made turned out to be a bit controversial. And some of the other scientists were much younger and more enthusiastic than me anyway. But, I thought I wouldn’t care much if I got evicted. This event was supposed to be fun, and I wasn’t really in it to win it. And everyone else in the competition deserved to get the price as well, so why bother?
But I do admit that I ended up checking very quickly and very often around 3 pm every day whether it had hit me this time. Except that it never did. 🙂
So, you proved me wrong on all those things. Thank you for your support, and above all for participating in the event, asking questions and so on. It was great fun to talk to all of you. I hope that you got
a more realistic impression of who scientists really are, that we are just normal human beings (well, relatively normal 🙂 ), and that being a scientist is a very interesting job — but on the other hand it’s just a job, and you can train to become one if you want to.
I still plan to spend the prize money on a projector for the exhibition area that we are preparing for the Particle Physics Department at RAL, so we can not only show our many visitors around, but also show them slides with photos of the things we can not show them in our exhibition (such as the Large Hadron Collider). But you know what I think would be a much more valuable result of this competition than the prize money?
To meet at least one of you at CERN in 10 or 15 years and hear that this event played a role in getting you so interested in particle physics that you decided to pursue it as a career. That would be a big deal. 🙂
Oh, and by the way, one person actually asked this during one of the live chats. If you want to continue the discussion, or hear more about what we do, you can usually get one of us to visit your school. Just
get in touch with your nearest university or research lab! Plus, you can visit us. I am not familiar with what the universities offer, but the main STFC sites Rutherford Lab and Daresbury Lab offer tours and hands-on exercises for school classes. Science (and scientists) are there for your benefit. If this event got you interested, then there is no need for you to stop talking to us now!