The Columns

Representatives from the European Organization for Nuclear Research to Visit W&L

— by on September 8th, 2017

“The Science without Borders program addresses the borders that exist among disciplines in the academy. The liberal model of education is grounded on the premise that knowledge transcends such disciplinary borders. This program manifests the spirit of liberal education and the excitement that occurs when we choose to transcend borders.”

CERN Switzerland

Washington and Lee University’s Center for International Education presents Science Without Borders at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The four-day event will feature a talk by CERN representatives Suyog Shrestha and Abha Eli Phoboo on Sept. 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the Science Addition A214 on W&L’s campus. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the two-year Borders and Their Human Impact colloquium.

The duo will present an overview of the research project at CERN, the framework that allows scientists from across the world to collaborate and its global impact. In addition, Phoboo and Shrestha will give a physics seminar, lead a two-day workshop on “Why scientist need to write about science,” and conduct meetings with students and faculty.

“We are very excited that Suyog and Abha are coming to W&L,” said Irina Mazilu, professor of physics. “It is a great and rare opportunity for our students to learn about the research at CERN.”

“Our visitors from CERN come in conjunction with professor Mazilu’s new course on Applications of Physics to Social Sciences which, along with this part of the colloquium, embraces one of the nuanced aspects of the study of borders,” said Mark Rush, director of the center for international education.

“As we developed the colloquium, it was difficult not to think in terms of political borders and migration. While those topics are vitally important to the human condition around the world, the planning quickly expanded to include other borders with equally compelling impacts on humanity. The Science without Borders program with professors Shrestha and Phoboo addresses the borders that exist among disciplines in the academy. The liberal model of education is grounded on the premise that knowledge transcends such disciplinary borders. This program manifests the spirit of liberal education and the excitement that occurs when we choose to transcend borders.”

Suyog Shrestha is a physicist from the Ohio State University working on the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. His research focuses on the measurement of the Higgs boson’s properties and explores the territory beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.

Abha Eli Phoboo is a journalist who worked as a science writer at CERN. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Phoboo will conduct a two-day workshop on how to write about science for a large audience. Mazilu believes the the workshop will be useful for both science and non-science majors.

“The writing workshop will focus on why scientists need to write for non-expert audiences and how they can communicate their passion for the beauty that science allows them to see,” said Mazilu.