Higgs leading by example
A chara, – Having attended local schools, it was immensely satisfying to co-organise a free public outreach lecture over the May bank holiday weekend on the discovery of the Higgs’ boson with Prof Peter Higgs as a speaker at NUI Maynooth. For the 450or so attendees who turned up, Prof Higgs was happy to sign autographs and consent to photograph requests, much to the delight of the second-level and third-level students there.
Not only is Prof Higgs an undisputed front-runner for a Nobel prize, his name follows Einstein and Hawking into the stratosphere of science. The name Higgs will feature in the textbooks of future generations of Leaving Certificate physics students.
Science Foundation Ireland’s narrow remit of biotechnology, information technology and energy does not make it easy to stage such events in Ireland. A relaxation of this policy to allow support for superstars – especially those who will be enshrined in basic textbooks – regardless of their field of study, may be perceived as a tad more enlightened. – Is mise,
Dr EOIN O COLGAIN,
(Co-organiser of Irish
Departamento de Fisica,
Universidad de Oviedo,