Historical Content Note: The following material is reprinted from publications from throughout Fermilab's history. It should be read in its original historical context.

Appeal to Physicists: Speak, Write So Layman Will Support You

MIT's Victor Weisskopf talks to NAL Users' Organization meeting in NAL Village Barn.

Victor F. Weisskopf, one of the elder statesmen of high energy physics, urged his colleagues to join aggressively in the effort to gain wider popular support for the funding of elementary particle physics.

"Use your ingenuity to make these things interesting to the public...Don't shun the practical applications of the physics work you are doing. The attitudes and the spirit that are used in basic science are exactly the things that are needed to solve the problems now confronting society," said the Viennese-born professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who formerly was Director of CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research.

Weisskopf spoke at the annual meeting of the NAL Users' Organization in the Village Barn April 30, 1971. "NAL is the most important laboratory we have; it gets too little for the work it will do," he told the assembled physicists.

He suggested that physicists seek to gain support for their work by speaking and writing more and more for popular-level audiences. In-addition, he suggested that experimental physicists find unique and enticing titles in listing their experiments, rather than complex, esoteric descriptions understood only by a handful of their colleagues. "Find a title that will dramatize them," he urged.

In his remarks, Robert R. Wilson, NAL Director, said that work was proceeding at such a fast rate at NAL that he has shifted his thinking from a year ago. Whereas he thought in mid-1970 that on the first of May, 1971 all attention would be focused on the accelerator, he finds now that experimental areas are past the planning stage and under construction...getting ready for use. The experimental facilities have become an integral part of he facility, he said.

"Nearly 300 users from universities and research centers across the nation attended the two-day meeting which included reports by various NAL staff members and a tour of the various NAL laboratories and accelerators.

Earle C. Fowler, recently-appointed chairman of the Physics department at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., also serves as chairman of the NAL Users' organization. Membership in the group is open to practicing high-energy Ph.D. experimentalists, accelerator scientists and senior engineers from universities and laboratories, including NAL.

Members of the NAL Users' Organization Executive Committee include: Charles Baltay, Columbia University; Fowler; L.G. Pondrom, University of Wisconsin; Valentine Telegdi, University of Chicago; Stanley Wojcicki, Stanford University; David Cline, University of Wisconsin; George Masek, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory; David Ritson, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center; Harold K. Ticho, University of California at Los Angeles; Malcolm Derrick, Argonne National Laboratory; Aihud Pevsner, CERN (on leave from Johns Hopkins); Horace Taft, Yale University; D. Hywel White, at University College, London (on leave from Cornell).