Why use a map to tell the story?

The paperback edition of A Map of the Invisible is out now, and to help promote it we made a few videos on some of the themes in the book. Here’s the second one:

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The Strumion. And on.

As many of you will know (pay attention at the back) some theory guy said some exciting stuff at CERN and they have, as usual, suppressed his amazing discovery just like they did with those faster-than-light neutrinos and the fact that the LHC destroyed the world in 2008 and we have all since then been living in a simulation¹ running on Rolf Heuer’s mobile phone (or “handy” as he likes to call it).

Alessandro Strumia’s slides have been deleted and the video suppressed, but luckily for you all I have managed to reconstruct the gist from recordings, first-hand accounts and the skip behind Building 40.

It is very serious and credible because, as he says on Slide 6, it uses “Some statistics, like for Higgs discovery.”

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The Oval, Hull, ExCel and CERN

Talking about particle physics is very audience-dependent

A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk – “Scientific Section Presidential Address“, in fact – at the British Science Festival in Hull. I’ve just been sent links to a write-up (in German) of the meeting which features my talk here and here. I think my German is good enough to work out there’s nothing too rude about me in there, and if yours is better than mine (not a high bar) you might find the account of the whole event interesting.


The week before, I gave a talk at a training day for Cancer Research UK, which was as much about the organisation of big collaborations as it was about the physics. It was at the Kia Oval, just before the final Test of the Indian tour. Apparently the Indian team were training there. I didn’t get to see them, but I did get a cool mug.

The following week – that is last week – I talked again at New Scientist Live in the ExCel centre.

I really enjoyed all three events, since there were large¹ and engaged audiences. Somehow no matter how often I give the same talk, it never turns out quite the same, because the audience is always different². The amazingness of the whole enterprise of particle physics, and the wonder and excitement which attracted me to it in the first place, sometimes slip from view in the daily mundanity which comes with any job. Giving a talk to a general audience is like going back to the beginning for me. Seeing the enthusiasm reflected back from the eyes of an audience definitely boosts my own scientific creativity and motivation.

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What is the universe really made of?

The paperback edition of A Map of the Invisible is out now, and to help promote it we made a few videos on some of the themes in the book. Here’s the first one:


Posted in Particle Physics, Physics, Science, Writing | Tagged , ,