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Blog

‘Up-tight’ at CERN?

By Hamish Johnston

If you asked me to name an “outspoken” particle physicist, I might choose Tommaso Dorigo of Italy’s University of Padova. Dorigo, you may recall, was embroiled in a controversy last year over the supposed sighting of the Higgs boson by the CDF collaboration at Fermilab.

Dorigo is a CDF member and had discussed preliminary results from the experiment on his blog, where they were picked up by the press and reported as evidence of the elusive Higgs. While these results had been previously reported at a conference, they had not been “approved” by Fermilab for mass consumption.

Needless to say, the CDF data did not provide strong evidence for the Higgs, and Dorigo has been criticized for discussing the results in public.

Now, Dorigo spends most of his time working on the LHC’s CMS experiment — so what does he have to say about the recent setbacks at CERN?

Nothing it seems, and he has even made a point of saying so in a recent blog posting .

Dorigo observes “CERN appears a bit up-tight about the latest events…”, and claims “my blog is targeted as a possible source of leaks”.

As a result, he has chosen to keep quiet: “And if I play fair, maybe I am allowed to survive here, and maybe one day I will stop being threatened every other day, in the name of protecting internal information of the experiments I am part of”.

Strong stuff…so, once burned, is Dorigo making the right choice?

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One comment to ‘Up-tight’ at CERN?

  1. Ender

    Although I’d do exactly the same as him, I think he’s now in a no win – no win situation, since his silence will be interpreted by some people as if his hiding something. Anyway, that may probably be better.
    Concerning the latest news, I just can’t understand what’s the logic behind the LHD management decisions. They were testing the machine while taking it to 5 TeV, and the test failed. Now they say they’ll take it all the way to 7 keV skipping the test which previously failed (?????)
    I can understand why Dorigo and many others will be unavailable for comments. Doesn’t this smell a bit like the problems between technitians and management in NASA?

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