Juan Fuster (Alcoi, 1960) is an experimental particle physicist and research professor at the Institute of Corpuscular Physics (CSIC-UV), which he directed from 2003 to 2007. Between 1987 and 1996 he participated in the DELPHI experiment at CERN and he later participated in the construction of the internal silicon-based detector for ATLAS. He was also the manager for the National Program for Particle Physics and the coordinator for the Physical Sciences area of CSIC. He is currently European President for physics and detectors of the Worldwide Study in the Linear Collider, appointed by the ECFA (European Committee for Future Accelerators). In recent weeks, Juan Fuster talked to the media on many occasions as co-chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP), the most important event in physics particles worldwide, the latter edition of which was held from 2 to 9 July in Valencia. We talked to him about the highlights of this discipline and the understanding between scientists and journalists, a relationship he considers necessary.
What are your highlights of the ICHEP?
During the congress a significant portion of the time was devoted to science communication. How important is this issue to scientists?
Do you believe the media play their role in that?
During the course of the conference, speakers made constant references to neutrinos or the gravitational waves generated by the Big Bang. Why do you think these issues generate so much media attention?
For the press, one of the most striking participations in the ICHEP was precisely the cosmologist Alan Guth, a defender of the inflationary theory, which predicted the existence of parallel universes. What’s your opinion about it?
«Science and music are two disciplines that create harmony and make people collaborate and frontiers disappear. They help us feel closer to each other.»
«As a community that spends public money, scientists must be accountable in front of the society, communicate what we do and do so in a lay language so people understand»
«I think the understanding between scientists and journalists is good and we have to consider it, push it forward»
The people in charge of the European Planck mission announced during the conference that in a few weeks they would provide new data to the debate on the first signal of the Big Bang. Do you think it will be a great breakthrough?
What are the shortcomings of the standard model of particle physics and what theories challenge or complement it?
No doubt the issue that generated the most interest is the Higgs boson. Two years after the announcement of its observation, do you think that the public has come to understand the magnitude of the discovery?
CERN celebrates its 60th anniversary. Beyond the discovery of the Higgs boson, which contributions would you emphasise?
Felip Pineda. Journalist. Mètode Science Studies Journal (Valencia, Spain).
«The Higgs boson is not any particle, it is a complex object with unique properties and we do not know if it is just one or there’s more»
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