Science in public: finding a Higgs boson in the media spotlight

Professor Jonathan Butterworth, University College London

Tuesday 18 December 2012, 1330-1430
Management School Building

Professor Jonathan Butterworth Professor Jonathan Butterworth

Science, the media and the public have a complicated relationship, often fraught with misunderstanding. Particle physics is in an odd position since public interest is very high, but unlike many frequently-discussed scientific fields the results do not directly make money, cure diseases or affect the environment.

Nevertheless, many issues are common between all areas of science; these include the need to discuss the scientific process, caveats, funding issues, errors and uncertainties and evidence, and the nature of scientific knowledge itself, are all key.

Professor Butterworth will talk through some of this using examples from his own experience, including the role of social media, and also speculate how this might have any impact on impact, in the REF sense.

Jonathan Butterworth

Professor Jonathan Butterworth is head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London, and a member of the Atlas experiment at Cern's Large Hadron Collider.

Before this, he grew up in Manchester, did his doctorate in Oxford and worked on the electron-proton collider in Hamburg. He is a member of STFC's Science Board. He also writes the Life and Physics blog for the Guardian.