From May 9-11, 2012, TRIUMF played host to a number of expert particle physics communicators as part of the annual spring meeting of the InterActions collaboration. Communications specialists from around the globe participated in the meeting, with representatives visiting from KEK (Japan), IHEP (China), CERN (Switzerland), DESY (Germany), INFN (Italy), STFC (UK), SLAC (USA), and FNAL (USA). A different laboratory hosts each meeting in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas, the development of international group projects, and to review best practices.
In keeping with tradition, the hosting laboratory invites its international counterparts to a cultural activity. TRIUMF took advantage of one of Vancouver’s elusive sunny spring days and hosted a barbeque on the Spanish Banks beach; though it was windy, the sun held throughout. Taking a break from particle physics, the group also visited the Beaty Biodiversity Museum located on UBC campus for a tour of the biological archives and an explanation of the research that is performed there.
TRIUMF’s Head of Communication, Dr. Tim Meyer, who is also a co-chair of the collaboration, praised this year’s meeting as a success. “This meeting in Vancouver was a special one. InterActions is nearly a decade old, [and] we’re seeing the next generation of science communicators take the helm and provide a global context for sharing the science and adventure of particle physics. At this meeting, we identified some great new projects that will reflect the global quest of our science as well as the global rewards.” One of these projects is hosting local photographers in each of the labs for a global photowalk in the fall.
The purpose of the InterActions collaboration is to facilitate the spread of science and to reinforce the relevance of particle physics within a global society. “InterActions is a rare phenomenon,” Meyer said, “we recognize the common goal of advancing the science and sharing its relevance. That’s what makes these meetings so important; we inspire and we challenge one another so that the ball moves forward—everywhere.”
--Written by Jordan Pitcher (Communications Assistant)