Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Higgs Live!

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jarno van der Linden,

    I believe these types of presentations also tend to get re-used a lot for different conferences, each with their different emphasis. So you just throw absolutely everything in there, and update it with new results as they come in. And if someone asks a question about some obscure detail of the research, you can be pretty sure you have the answer somewhere in the slides.

    I see how that makes sense. Are there many presentational rockstars at serious conferences? And how are they regarded?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    A couple of weekends ago I was part of a team judging posters about clinical research. It is featured in the latest VicNews. As usual I borrowed a disability perspective. They had to be easy to read whether displayed high or low or in a dark corner; therefore contrast was important and a large clear font (sans serif easiest). A busy background was just distracting. Most of them had a 2 or 3 column approach - broken up in easy to read chunks and some included tables or graphs. The most effective had minimal use of colour - just one or two in addition to dark lettering on on a white background. Good use of illustration included smallish photos or diagrams such as of the specialist equipment used or procedures.

    Once you have done all this it is quite easy to read and more or less understand even the most complex scientific/clinical project. These ones all had human research participants, and for me that means there is almost an ethical requirement to make the information accessible, even for a specialist conference.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3225 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Richard Grevers,

    Love it!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jarno van der Linden,

    these types of presentations also tend to get re-used a lot for different conferences

    all the more reason...

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Lyndon Hood,

    Actually, NASA has a reputation for “managing” news releases for maximum impact, and sometimes distorts the science in doing so

    Exhibit A (and the resulting Stuff article).

    Holy crap, that’s misleading!! And the confusion originates directly from the NASA report...even I, BA that I am, can see that.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Don’t be silly, it’s only comms. Anyone can do comms.

    I initially read thaty as "it's only commas. Anyone can do commas"
    Clearly, it needs to be in a harder to read font, so I pay more attention.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to David Hood,

    I initially read that as "it's only commas. Anyone can do commas"
    Clearly, it needs to be in a harder to read font, so I pay more attention.

    Me too! Comma coma.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Graham, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Let me put this into a slightly different context. Nobel laureates Alexander Fleming, Ernst Boris Chain and Howard Florey were drawing academic salaries and research budgets during the Great Depression.

    if you're one of the uncountable millions whose lives have been improved - or even saved - by Penicillium-derived antibiotics, you tell me if that was a good investment.

    And PAS relies on a technology invented at CERN.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Peter Graham,

    One thing I would love to see taught at all schooling levels: the simple fact that science is *the* best tool, *the* best lens our kind of humans have ever invented - after language.
    I am an expert IN language - I deeply know its currents/moods/quirks & 'suades (mainly in English, but quite a bit in Maori) and how I can use it. Ideal schooling teaches both-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene,

    Here's what Richard Feynman has to say about the alleged Comic Sans furore (at Auckland Uni in 1979, no less):

    Then there's the B Ark Golgafrinchans from Douglas Adams' H2G2, where they're arguing over what colour the Wheel should be. I'd rather have substance over style any day of the quark.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Will de Cleene,

    I’d rather have substance over style any day of the quark.

    I think most of us would. But there are heaps more comments here on the font than the content!

    Although to be fair I think most of us feel confident talking about fonts, not so much on particle physics.

    I get that the Higgs boson is a really big deal, but I think most of us are just nodding and smiling uncomprehendingly at the physicists. I'm very pleased that human knowledge has taken such a giant leap, but my personal knowledge is labouring some distance behind.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Wedde,

    I have a relative who very kindly and patiently took me through some of the basics of cosmology a few years ago, and although I have since forgotten as much as I ever knew, the announcement was still a thrill.

    The Higgs had sort of legendary status in my tiny addled brain, like a bad-arse Grandpa who I had only ever heard stories about at Chistmas, but who I knew must theoretically have impregnated Grandma for any of us to be here at all. And now here he is, sending us letters in Comic Sans, charmingly illustrated with Microsoft clipart. Rock on your bad-arse self Grandpa.

    Lower Hutt • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene, in reply to Lilith __,

    I get that the Higgs boson is a really big deal, but I think most of us are just nodding and smiling uncomprehendingly at the physicists.

    Imagine snails working out how to predict lunar eclipses. It's that amazing.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I watched CERN’s webcast of the Higgs Boson announcement

    Sorry to be pedantic, but the correct spelling is Higgs boson. Capital ‘H’ for the ‘Higgs’ of Peter Higgs, one of the first to suggest its existence. Small ‘b’ for boson, which is just a type of particle.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Will de Cleene,

    Imagine snails working out how to predict lunar eclipses. It’s that amazing.

    Um, arnt we making a leap into the absurd here? (I thoroughly appreciate leaps into absurdity -within reason!)

    Snails are excellent beings -but they dont do rational (let alone mathematical et al)
    reasoning. Our species does.
    What the physicists have done is in keeping with our species' abilities.

    If snails suddenly started cementing sand - iron!- granules togther & making high-arched bridges over hot-water streams...I'd call that an equivalent, and make an application to be one of the ambassadors to the Molluscan Republic.

    But we all know the squids & octopi will get there first...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Jarno van der Linden,

    I believe these types of presentations also tend to get re-used a lot for different conferences

    Most definitely. My boss in the us insistent each poster had to go to at least 3 conferences to be worth the bother.

    Some slides get used for decades!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Not a physicist but just found this Youtube clip of my family's famous scientist - Bill Hamilton, evolutionary biologist - and my mother's cousin. This must have been filmed not long before he died in 2000 while in the field. (They do good hair in that line of the family.)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3225 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene, in reply to Islander,

    Um, arnt we making a leap into the absurd here?

    Yeah, I admit that metaphor needs significant plastic surgery. More apt aphorisms welcomed. Just how freaking awesome is the Hogg's Bison?

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Islander,

    If snails suddenly started cementing sand - iron!- granules togther & making high-arched bridges over hot-water streams...I'd call that an equivalent, and make an application to be one of the ambassadors to the Molluscan Republic.

    Islander, I have to ask, have you seen The Future is Wild? Molluscs, it seems, could well be our successors. It's all very much in the tradition of H. G. Wells, and all the better for it.

    I thoroughly appreciate leaps into absurdity -within reason!

    Ahem, one does not make leaps into the absurd within reason, one makes leaps into the absurd using reason taken to its extreme.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Will de Cleene,

    substance over style

    why treat them as mutually exclusive?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sarah Wedde,

    And now here he is, sending us letters in Comic Sans, charmingly illustrated with Microsoft clipart. Rock on your bad-arse self Grandpa.

    nice

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Kracklite,

    Kia ora! Yes, I have seen TFIW - and I wasnt being absurd about the great molluscs!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Kracklite,

    Ahem, one does not make leaps into the absurd within reason, one makes leaps into the absurd using reason taken to its extreme

    That is one point of view...

    I happily engage with absurdity & fantasy of all kinds - but prefer - indeed expect - an underlay of our species' kind of reason- when we're talking to each other-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene, in reply to Islander,

    But we all know the squids & octopi will get there first…

    I hope it'll be the octopii ascendant, but I fear the jellyfish will win.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Islander,

    If snails suddenly started cementing sand - iron!- granules togther & making high-arched bridges over hot-water streams...I'd call that an equivalent, and make an application to be one of the ambassadors to the Molluscan Republic.

    Olaf Stapledon's nautiloids.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

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