Outreach of fundamental research and its applications — IPPOG meets at FAIR and GSI
FAIR and GSI hosted this year’s spring meeting of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG) in May. During three days, the international participants exchanged views on the possibilities of communicating science to the public and in particular to young people. The meeting also gave the participants an opportunity to learn more about the research program of GSI and the status of the international FAIR project, one of the largest construction projects for fundamental research in the world.
In addition to general IPPOG-related topics, the agenda included information on the ongoing FAIR/GSI research, the public relations activities on site, a panel discussion, working groups and demos of educational kits by CAEN. Furthermore, participants took part in a tour of the facilities and the viewing platform of the FAIR construction site. On the occasion of the meeting, a so-called Masterclass for the children of staff members was held. The young people, under professional supervision of scientists, autonomously analyzed and interpreted recent data of the ALICE experiment located at the European research center CERN. IPPOG offers Masterclasses worldwide in cooperation with 250 research institutions that reach out to about 15,000 school-children in 55 countries. The IPPOG steering group approved and will include in the next year’s program the new Masterclass on particle therapy developed in a cooperation of GSI, CERN and Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.
IPPOG is a network of scientists, science educators and communication specialists working across the globe in informal science education and outreach for particle physics and fundamental research in general. IPPOG brings new discoveries to young people and conveys to the public that the beauty of nature is indeed becoming understandable from the interactions of its most fundamental parts. Recently, IPPOG has also focused on applications for society, which was reflected by the contributions of FAIR and GSI. The IPPOG collaboration currently comprises 30 members: 24 countries, five experiments and CERN as an international laboratory, as well as several candidates for membership. (cp)