At the beginning of June 2018, I gave an (academic) talk on the discovery of the Higgs boson at a meeting at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA) to celebrate fifty years of the Standard Model – the SM@50.
The list of speakers was without doubt the most eminent collection of physicists I have ever been a part of. In alphabetical order, and mostly with links to the reasons for their eminence:
Stephen Adler, James “Bj” Bjorken, Alain Blondel, Jonathan Butterworth, Clifford Cheung,Norman Christ, Savas Dimopoulos, Pavel Fileviez Perez, Alexei Filippenko,Jerome I. Friedman,Mary K. Gaillard,David Gross, Gerard ‘t Hooft,Takaaki Kajita,Rocky Kolb, Ubirajara van Kolck, Bryan W. Lynn, Michael Peskin, Helen Quinn,Carlo Rubbia,Jurgen Schukraft,Daniel Sigg,George Smoot,Glenn Starkman,Samuel Ting,Bennie F.L. Ward,Steven Weinberg,Mark Wise,Sau Lan Wu
Most of their signatures are on the poster above.
I think any particle physicist, and probably most physicists, will recognise a few of their scientific heroes there. I did, enough to give me a hint of imposter syndrome at the start of my talk before I remembered that I was standing there not as an individual but as a representative of thousands, so I had better get on with it and not let the side down.
I think I did ok. If you want you can judge that for yourself by watching the recording below, or perhaps more interestingly see the rest of the talks, since they are all now available here. They vary in academic level and in presentational quality (being a great physicist is not the same thing as being a great speaker!) but some of them are really wonderful and also quite accessible I think.
Some of us also did a reddit Iama.
Many thanks to Case, especially Glenn and Bryan, for putting on such a memorable meeting (and for inviting me to it).