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Gavin Hesketh | CERN | Switzerland

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meetings, biscuits, and other important things

I’m still at CERN running around trying to talk to as many people as possible before deciding which experiment to join. And one thing about large collaboration like atlas or cms (over 2000 people on each) is the number of meetings – of working groups, sub-groups, sub-sub groups, task-forces… you could spend all your time in meetings and never do any work. And as “the bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy”, the regular meetings of the Meeting Optimisation Committee have achieved an almost legendary status here.

Yesterday, my source for the news that the LHC is now colder than space (the BBC news website), reported on the optimal meeting time: apparently, it’s 3pm on a Tuesday (while this is not exactly cutting edge research, at least it is a step up from the formula for the optimal length of time to dunk a biscuit in a cup of tea). Anyway, being this side of the Atlantic, most of the meetings are in the afternoon, so our US colleagues can video/phone in. In the US, all meetings have to be at 8, 9, 10 am to avoid being too late in Europe. I know which one I’m happier with!

And soon I have to pick an experiment, so I will start writing about physics…

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