Villa Monastero, Aula Fermi – Saturday, 11 July, 2015
The final session of the Workshop on Future Research Infrastructures: Challenges and Opportunities was devoted to a Panel Discussion, organized by the American, European and Italian Physical Societies (APS, EPS and SIF), which gathered a number of distinguished stakeholders, namely:
• Sergio Bertolucci (INFN LNF, Italy) – CERN Director for Research and Scientific Computing
• Fernando Ferroni (University of Roma La Sapienza, Italy) – INFN President
• Sachio Komamiya (University of Tokyo, Japan) – Chair of the Linear Collider Board
• Michael Lubell (City College of the City University of New York, USA) – Director of Public Affairs of the American Physical Society
• Wolfgang Sandner (Technische Universitat Berlin, Germany) – Director General of the ELI Delivery Consortium International Association (AISBL)
• Corrado Spinella (CNR IMM, Italy) – Director of CNR Department of Physical Sciences & Technologies of Matter
• Amy Flatten (American Physical Society, USA) – Director of International Affairs of the American Physical Society
• Zhentang Zhao (SINAP CAS, China) – Director of Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The Workshop, involving top scientists of the field, indeed created through this Panel the opportunity of a special forum to discuss the needs and perspectives of our community for future research infrastructures on an international scale and to freely exchange our ideas from both the scientific and strategic angles. I had the honour to moderate the Panel and here follows my brief summary of what was said.
Bertolucci recalled that particle physics has definitely become global. The LHC (Large Hadron Collider), FCC (Future Circular Collider), CLIC (Compact Linear Collider), ILC (International Linear Collider), DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) with its neutrino beam line, etc. are all global endeavours. The keywords for the future are cooperation, technology and education.
Ferroni pointed out that big facilities require R&D, ability, capacity, as well as training of new generations of experts with the needed appropriate skills. It is mandatory for our research community to preserve the expertise acquired so far. Moreover in this respect a strong collaboration with the industrial world is essential.
Komamiya mentioned first of all competition as a driving force for new projects. International motivations for new facilities exist and they come from the field of particle physics for accelerators and colliders, as well as from the field of materials science for light sources. In parallel with big, global projects, nevertheless one should not forget the importance of the medium and small ones which still nurture research on a national scale.
Lubell illustrated how in the United States research is intimately connected with politics and budget. The case of the abandoned SSC (Superconducting Super Collider) project was recalled as a significant example of the past whose consequences are still visible. The way the research system works today is a result of the science budget crisis in the US. Therefore internationalization for future roadmaps is badly needed.
Sandner illustrated the birth of ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) as the first ever international laser research infrastructure. For the first time, structural funds from the European Union were used for a multisite facility like ELI. The secret was: a convincing scientific case, a credible added value (key technology, photonics applications, etc.), a clear political and managing scenario. Today ELI is “the CERN of laser research”.
Spinella described how CNR, the National Italian Research Council, effectively participates in international research infrastructures like, for instance, ERSF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) and ESS (European Spallation Source), in particular with in-kind contributions foreseen for ESS.
Flatten emphasized the role of learned societies, like APS, EPS and SIF, to suggest, establish and coordinate proper models for collaboration on the international stage, with statements of wide impact that could be backed by renowned organizations, such as for instance IUPAP (International Union of Pure and Applied Physics) or OECD GSF (Global Science Forum).
Zhao, finally, stressed that for future international large-scale facilities the must is R&D in a high spirit of collaboration, with multidisciplinar and interdisciplinar procedures and practices. And this should also be a clear message for the young generations.
The conclusion of the Panel was a wish. That bottom-up surveys from our community on which should be our real needs in terms of big future projects, in order to address the most challenging scientific questions of our time, may be collected in a “white book”, and that this white book may serve as an inspiring reference for policy makers, governing bodies and funding agencies to shape the future of world research infrastructures.
University of Bologna