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Blog

Where should the International Linear Collider be built?

By Hamish Johnston

Japan has announced that it will bid to host the International Linear Collider (ILC), which is expected to be the next big experiment in particle physics after the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The Japanese press is saying that the particle smasher – which is expected to cost about $8bn and stretch for 40 km underground – could be built on the island of Kyushu.

hands smll.jpg

The word on the street is that either Japan, CERN located on the Swiss-French border, or Fermilab in the US will play host to the massive project. Physics World‘s Margaret Harris was at Fermilab recently to find out what will become of the facility now that its premier collider – the Tevatron – has shut down. Margaret didn’t focus on the lab’s chances of bagging the ILC, but rather on the plethora of experiments that are ongoing or planned for the near future. Her article about the visit also includes a series of audio clips of Fermilab physicists describing their work.

So, do you think Fermilab is the place for the ILC? This week’s poll question is:

Where should the International Linear Collider be built?

At CERN (Europe)
At Fermilab (US)
In Japan
It should never be built

Have your say by visiting our Facebook page. And feel free to explain your vote, or suggest another location, by posting a comment on the poll.

In last week’s poll, we asked, “Do you believe that researchers will always view the scientific paper as the gold standard for sharing new results?”. 56% of you think that the scientific paper will endure, while the remaining 44% believe the paper will be replaced by other forms of communication. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement of something that has served science well for several centuries.

One thing that commenters could agree on is the importance of peer review in science communication. One voter, Robert Minchin, said “Peer review is far too useful, not just as a ‘gatekeeper’ for what gets into the literature, but also in preventing us from embarrassing ourselves: like most (if not all) scientists, I’ve had referees spot errors that I had been completely blind to.” He goes on to say that while the concept of a paper will endure, they “may not be anything like we have had in the past”. He added, “I would expect it to become standard for journal publishers to provide the ability to manipulate and search data tables, view them graphically, etc. as part of their value-added service.”

Another pollster, Jose Riera, agrees about the importance of peer review, writing: “The real question is peer-reviewed papers or not peer-reviewed. My answer is that only peer-reviewed papers could have some minimum standards or scientific value.”

Thank you for all your responses and we look forward to hearing from you again in this week’s poll.

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