"Accelerators for humanity"

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Institution of Great Britain
Department Name: The Bursar

Abstract

Particle accelerators have many varied applications and their uses in medicine and industry are transforming lives. Yet, whilst the discovery of the Higgs Boson and CERN's Large Hadron Collider captured the public's imagination like few other recent scientific developments, the public remains largely unaware that accelerators have any uses apart from particle physics research.

'Accelerators for Humanity' will address this gap by curating a programme cutting across live events and digital video resources. The project will capture the dedication of particle accelerator researchers in STFC-funded facilities and highlight the varied ways in which their work is impacting on our lives in areas such as medicine, food safety and nuclear power. It will utilise the experience of the Royal Institution (Ri) Channel video production team, and the organisation's 200-year expertise in communicating in-depth science to the public. For example, the STFC-funded 'Ri Crystallography' collection to date has been viewed nearly 400k times.

The project will include a public talk by STFC-funded Dr Suzie Sheehy and a debate featuring a panel of particle accelerator researchers. In her talk Dr Sheehy will discuss her work designing accelerators and their potential future applications in areas such as the treatment of cancer. The panel debate will focus on the challenges faced by researchers designing today's accelerators for use in answering tomorrow's research questions. Both these events will be filmed and available online as part of a permanent 'Accelerators for Humanity' digital resource.

The Ri will also produce a series of short films exploring the human stories of particle accelerator researchers working in STFC-funded facilities, an animation exploring the challenges faced in building accelerators, a science demo video explaining the principle by which accelerators trap and transport charged particles, and an interactive video providing a 360 degree view inside an accelerator.

The films will be developed for a general audience and will be released under a Creative Commons license. They will be hosted on the Ri's YouTube channel, which currently has around 200,000 subscribers, as well as being seeded on other media and educational websites. Public discussion through YouTube comments will be encouraged, and this online discussion will be supplemented by social media discussions including an Ri Twitter quiz.

A project hub will be created on the Ri's own video website, the Ri Channel, which will act as home to the permanent digital resources. The resources will be distributed to teachers and educators and a project wrap-up event will help raise awareness of the project amongst science communicators and those within the UK particle accelerator research community.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Accelerators for Humanity 
Organisation Daresbury Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The Royal Institution hosted three public events and produced eight videos to inspire and educate the general public about particle accelerators and their wider applications in society.  This included Dr Sheehy's one hour long Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution lecture theatre and the debate she led with a panel of world-leading experts on the future of particle accelerators. The Ri also produced a series of short films exploring the human stories of particle accelerator researchers working in STFC-funded facilities, an animation exploring the challenges faced in building accelerators, a science demonstration video explaining the principle by which accelerators trap and transport charged particles, and a fly through of the 3D modelled interior of the ISIS neutron and muon source. The Ri's in-house team led by Digital Manager, Cassie Williams, included two experienced video producers responsible for producing video and digital content and a digital media officer leading on social media campaigns to promote resources. Our public programme team, with experience in curating public talks, developed and organised the live events and wrap up discussion event at the Ri. Animations were created by Andrew Khosravani, the Ri's 2015 Animator-in-Residence, who was hired on a freelance basis for this project. The Ri devised a marketing campaign during the initial stages of the project and identified and engaged with a range of dissemination partners.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Suzie Sheehy contributed her expertise as an accelerator physicist and gave a public talk and led a debate featuring a panel of particle accelerator researchers. Both these events were filmed by the Ri and made available online as part of a permanent 'Accelerators for Humanity' digital resource. Suzie was actively engaged in the whole process of planning and developing the application, planning the series of short films. She set up connections for locations and storylines, presented many of the videos and engaged a range of other STFC employees and STFC-funded colleagues to feature as interviewees. Our partner organisations let us record and feature elements of their work on our videos.
Impact A series of live events at the Ri: A public talk by Dr Sheehy, a panel debate on the futures of particle accelerator research, and a wrap-up event to share knowledge and raise awareness of the newly created resources amongst the accelerator research community and other science communicators. The creation of a range of original digital resources for online dissemination: a series of 4 short films exploring the human stories of researchers and others working with accelerators, as well as the wide variety of applications for them an animation voiced by Dr Suzie Sheehy, exploring the challenges faced in building accelerators a demonstration video showing the principle by which accelerators trap charged particles a fly through of the 3D modelled interior of the ISIS neutron and muon source two filmed live events: one in depth talk about the past and future of particle accelerators and a debate on the future of accelerators featuring an international panel of scientists The distribution of content via Ri digital platforms: the Ri Channel and the Ri's YouTube channel.  A video collection was created on the Ri Channel video website, to act as the central project hub and a permanent digital resource. All the content was released under a CC license. A summary of the project and its resources have also been accepted to the 8th International Particle Accelerator Conference 2017 (IPAC), the biggest international conference in the accelerator field, due to take place in May 2017 in Denmark. The paper title is "Particle Accelerators for Humanity: Resources for public engagement with particle accelerators" and will be available open access after the conference.  Dr. Sheehy has also been invited to prepare a peer reviewed publication on using the resources in the classroom for the IoP Physics Education journal, which is under preparation..
Start Year 2016
 
Description Accelerators for Humanity 
Organisation Diamond Light Source
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Royal Institution hosted three public events and produced eight videos to inspire and educate the general public about particle accelerators and their wider applications in society.  This included Dr Sheehy's one hour long Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution lecture theatre and the debate she led with a panel of world-leading experts on the future of particle accelerators. The Ri also produced a series of short films exploring the human stories of particle accelerator researchers working in STFC-funded facilities, an animation exploring the challenges faced in building accelerators, a science demonstration video explaining the principle by which accelerators trap and transport charged particles, and a fly through of the 3D modelled interior of the ISIS neutron and muon source. The Ri's in-house team led by Digital Manager, Cassie Williams, included two experienced video producers responsible for producing video and digital content and a digital media officer leading on social media campaigns to promote resources. Our public programme team, with experience in curating public talks, developed and organised the live events and wrap up discussion event at the Ri. Animations were created by Andrew Khosravani, the Ri's 2015 Animator-in-Residence, who was hired on a freelance basis for this project. The Ri devised a marketing campaign during the initial stages of the project and identified and engaged with a range of dissemination partners.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Suzie Sheehy contributed her expertise as an accelerator physicist and gave a public talk and led a debate featuring a panel of particle accelerator researchers. Both these events were filmed by the Ri and made available online as part of a permanent 'Accelerators for Humanity' digital resource. Suzie was actively engaged in the whole process of planning and developing the application, planning the series of short films. She set up connections for locations and storylines, presented many of the videos and engaged a range of other STFC employees and STFC-funded colleagues to feature as interviewees. Our partner organisations let us record and feature elements of their work on our videos.
Impact A series of live events at the Ri: A public talk by Dr Sheehy, a panel debate on the futures of particle accelerator research, and a wrap-up event to share knowledge and raise awareness of the newly created resources amongst the accelerator research community and other science communicators. The creation of a range of original digital resources for online dissemination: a series of 4 short films exploring the human stories of researchers and others working with accelerators, as well as the wide variety of applications for them an animation voiced by Dr Suzie Sheehy, exploring the challenges faced in building accelerators a demonstration video showing the principle by which accelerators trap charged particles a fly through of the 3D modelled interior of the ISIS neutron and muon source two filmed live events: one in depth talk about the past and future of particle accelerators and a debate on the future of accelerators featuring an international panel of scientists The distribution of content via Ri digital platforms: the Ri Channel and the Ri's YouTube channel.  A video collection was created on the Ri Channel video website, to act as the central project hub and a permanent digital resource. All the content was released under a CC license. A summary of the project and its resources have also been accepted to the 8th International Particle Accelerator Conference 2017 (IPAC), the biggest international conference in the accelerator field, due to take place in May 2017 in Denmark. The paper title is "Particle Accelerators for Humanity: Resources for public engagement with particle accelerators" and will be available open access after the conference.  Dr. Sheehy has also been invited to prepare a peer reviewed publication on using the resources in the classroom for the IoP Physics Education journal, which is under preparation..
Start Year 2016
 
Description Accelerators for Humanity 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Royal Institution hosted three public events and produced eight videos to inspire and educate the general public about particle accelerators and their wider applications in society.  This included Dr Sheehy's one hour long Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution lecture theatre and the debate she led with a panel of world-leading experts on the future of particle accelerators. The Ri also produced a series of short films exploring the human stories of particle accelerator researchers working in STFC-funded facilities, an animation exploring the challenges faced in building accelerators, a science demonstration video explaining the principle by which accelerators trap and transport charged particles, and a fly through of the 3D modelled interior of the ISIS neutron and muon source. The Ri's in-house team led by Digital Manager, Cassie Williams, included two experienced video producers responsible for producing video and digital content and a digital media officer leading on social media campaigns to promote resources. Our public programme team, with experience in curating public talks, developed and organised the live events and wrap up discussion event at the Ri. Animations were created by Andrew Khosravani, the Ri's 2015 Animator-in-Residence, who was hired on a freelance basis for this project. The Ri devised a marketing campaign during the initial stages of the project and identified and engaged with a range of dissemination partners.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Suzie Sheehy contributed her expertise as an accelerator physicist and gave a public talk and led a debate featuring a panel of particle accelerator researchers. Both these events were filmed by the Ri and made available online as part of a permanent 'Accelerators for Humanity' digital resource. Suzie was actively engaged in the whole process of planning and developing the application, planning the series of short films. She set up connections for locations and storylines, presented many of the videos and engaged a range of other STFC employees and STFC-funded colleagues to feature as interviewees. Our partner organisations let us record and feature elements of their work on our videos.
Impact A series of live events at the Ri: A public talk by Dr Sheehy, a panel debate on the futures of particle accelerator research, and a wrap-up event to share knowledge and raise awareness of the newly created resources amongst the accelerator research community and other science communicators. The creation of a range of original digital resources for online dissemination: a series of 4 short films exploring the human stories of researchers and others working with accelerators, as well as the wide variety of applications for them an animation voiced by Dr Suzie Sheehy, exploring the challenges faced in building accelerators a demonstration video showing the principle by which accelerators trap charged particles a fly through of the 3D modelled interior of the ISIS neutron and muon source two filmed live events: one in depth talk about the past and future of particle accelerators and a debate on the future of accelerators featuring an international panel of scientists The distribution of content via Ri digital platforms: the Ri Channel and the Ri's YouTube channel.  A video collection was created on the Ri Channel video website, to act as the central project hub and a permanent digital resource. All the content was released under a CC license. A summary of the project and its resources have also been accepted to the 8th International Particle Accelerator Conference 2017 (IPAC), the biggest international conference in the accelerator field, due to take place in May 2017 in Denmark. The paper title is "Particle Accelerators for Humanity: Resources for public engagement with particle accelerators" and will be available open access after the conference.  Dr. Sheehy has also been invited to prepare a peer reviewed publication on using the resources in the classroom for the IoP Physics Education journal, which is under preparation..
Start Year 2016
 
Description Accelerators for Humanity 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)
Department ISIS Neutron and Muon Source
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The Royal Institution hosted three public events and produced eight videos to inspire and educate the general public about particle accelerators and their wider applications in society.  This included Dr Sheehy's one hour long Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution lecture theatre and the debate she led with a panel of world-leading experts on the future of particle accelerators. The Ri also produced a series of short films exploring the human stories of particle accelerator researchers working in STFC-funded facilities, an animation exploring the challenges faced in building accelerators, a science demonstration video explaining the principle by which accelerators trap and transport charged particles, and a fly through of the 3D modelled interior of the ISIS neutron and muon source. The Ri's in-house team led by Digital Manager, Cassie Williams, included two experienced video producers responsible for producing video and digital content and a digital media officer leading on social media campaigns to promote resources. Our public programme team, with experience in curating public talks, developed and organised the live events and wrap up discussion event at the Ri. Animations were created by Andrew Khosravani, the Ri's 2015 Animator-in-Residence, who was hired on a freelance basis for this project. The Ri devised a marketing campaign during the initial stages of the project and identified and engaged with a range of dissemination partners.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Suzie Sheehy contributed her expertise as an accelerator physicist and gave a public talk and led a debate featuring a panel of particle accelerator researchers. Both these events were filmed by the Ri and made available online as part of a permanent 'Accelerators for Humanity' digital resource. Suzie was actively engaged in the whole process of planning and developing the application, planning the series of short films. She set up connections for locations and storylines, presented many of the videos and engaged a range of other STFC employees and STFC-funded colleagues to feature as interviewees. Our partner organisations let us record and feature elements of their work on our videos.
Impact A series of live events at the Ri: A public talk by Dr Sheehy, a panel debate on the futures of particle accelerator research, and a wrap-up event to share knowledge and raise awareness of the newly created resources amongst the accelerator research community and other science communicators. The creation of a range of original digital resources for online dissemination: a series of 4 short films exploring the human stories of researchers and others working with accelerators, as well as the wide variety of applications for them an animation voiced by Dr Suzie Sheehy, exploring the challenges faced in building accelerators a demonstration video showing the principle by which accelerators trap charged particles a fly through of the 3D modelled interior of the ISIS neutron and muon source two filmed live events: one in depth talk about the past and future of particle accelerators and a debate on the future of accelerators featuring an international panel of scientists The distribution of content via Ri digital platforms: the Ri Channel and the Ri's YouTube channel.  A video collection was created on the Ri Channel video website, to act as the central project hub and a permanent digital resource. All the content was released under a CC license. A summary of the project and its resources have also been accepted to the 8th International Particle Accelerator Conference 2017 (IPAC), the biggest international conference in the accelerator field, due to take place in May 2017 in Denmark. The paper title is "Particle Accelerators for Humanity: Resources for public engagement with particle accelerators" and will be available open access after the conference.  Dr. Sheehy has also been invited to prepare a peer reviewed publication on using the resources in the classroom for the IoP Physics Education journal, which is under preparation..
Start Year 2016
 
Description Accelerators for Humanity live event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A wrap-up event was held at Oxford Physics on Wednesday September 28th. This event was specifically aimed at the particle accelerator community to share knowledge and findings from the project.  Up to 30 professionals within the industry attended the event along with a number of outreach professionals. Networking opportunities through this event led to an idea to suggest a BBC Horizon episode on the applications of accelerators (including proton therapy) and Dr. Sheehy and other attendees met with the producers in March 2017, the idea is being pursued further.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Accelerators for Humanity live public events 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Two events were held at the Ri.   They were targeted at the general public to provide live engagement opportunities to increase public awareness of particle accelerator research and its wider applications, help the accelerator research community showcase their work, as well as to stimulate young people's (16+) interest and curiosity in particle accelerator and a desire to learn about them.

The events were:

Accelerators reimagined, an Ri Friday Evening (24th June 2016) Discourse by Dr Suzie Sheehy

Suzie demonstrated how accelerators actually work, and engaged the audience with her research controlling high power proton beams and imagined what they might be capable of in the future.

The event was well received but only attracted an audience of 250 people, which was much lower than anticipated.  We believe the low numbers were as a result of the Brexit vote, which took place the day before and impacted on turnout.

Feedback from the evaluation forms was extremely positive with 92% of respondents saying that they both enjoyed the event and learned something new, which illustrates that the aims of the event were met in raising public awareness around particle accelerators and increasing knowledge about their use in our daily lives.  85% of respondents were members of the public with a general interest in the topic and 92% of respondents were attending to find out more about the subject, and 54% of audience members wanting to find out more.

Feedback on the question 'One thing you'll remember about the event' included:

Physical demonstrations that illustrate complex principles are still being conducted at the Ri, glad to see this tradition is being maintained

The large number of uses for particle accelerators.  Excellent lecture and lecturer

The speaker was outstanding and I learned a lot about the subject

Colliding the Future: Where Next? An Ri Public Lecture panel discussion  (23rd September 2016) with leading researchers in the field of particle accelerators

The panel was led by Dr Suzie Sheehy with Dr Stuart Mangles, Senior Lecturer and University Research Fellow at Imperial College London, Prof Phillip Burrows, Professor of Accelerator Physics at University of Oxford, Prof Kenneth Long, Professor of Particle Physics at Imperial College London and Dr Frank Zimmerman, Senior Scientist at CERN and discussed the challenges in designing today's accelerators, the major challenges and vision for them in the future.

The event attracted an audience of 94, which was much lower than anticipated.  It was unfortunate that the event fell on a Friday in September which is not ordinarily a time we would schedule an event (summer holidays etc) however this was the only date that all the speakers could make, and adversely affected attendance numbers.

Feedback from the evaluation forms was extremely positive with 94% of respondents saying that they greatly enjoyed the event and 100% of respondents saying that they learned something new, which illustrates that the aims of the event were met in raising public awareness around particle accelerators and increasing knowledge about their use in our daily lives.  88% of respondents were members of the public with a general interest in the topic and 94% of respondents would like to find out more about the subject.

Feedback comments from the event included:

The 4 panelists and presenter were excellent, as were the graphics and overall discussion

Some great summaries of ongoing research and theories about a complex and intricate science. A real honour to hear from such high level scientists

physics is awesome

It was fascinating to hear about the different possible accelerator projects in the works - I enjoyed the breadth of work presented, from ready to be built to ideas that could be practicable in a few decades

The speakers made the subject easy to understand
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Accelerators for Humanity online video collection 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A collection of eight short films were produced.  These were designed to increase public awareness of particle accelerator research and its wider applications among general public, help the accelerator research community showcase their work, as well as to stimulate young people's (16+) interest and curiosity in particle accelerator and a desire to learn about them.

The videos cover a variety of topics to make this work more accessible, appealing and bring it to life, as follows:

How to design a particle accelerator with Dr Suzie Sheehy
Curing cancer with proton beams with Dr Suzie Sheehy
Protein folding and particle accelerators: A new solution with Dr Sylvia McLain
Powering a particle accelerator: ISIS Neutron and Muon source
Particle accelerators reimagined with Dr Suzie Sheehy (Filmed Discourse)
How to trap particles with Dr Suzie Sheehy
What is the future of particle accelerators (Filmed Panel Debate)
Why Thermodynamics Matter to Particle Physicists with Dr Suzie Sheehy

The videos have been viewed 178,362 times in total on the Ri Channel and YouTube as of 21 February 2017 (N.B. some of the videos have only been up for about four or five months), with 16,476 views on Facebook, taking the total viewing count so far to 194,838.  The videos are still accumulating c.10,000 views per month on YouTube, so we would expect that figure to rise to the projected target of 200,000 within the next month.

Google Analytics show an international audience with high audience numbers predominantly in the USA followed by the UK, Canada, Netherlands and Germany.  

The videos were successful in reaching their target audience of 18-35 year olds with a casual interest in science.  A full evaluation of the project was undertaken by an external evaluator, Martha Henson.  The results from this evaluation confirm 53% of those surveyed indicated that they have a general interest in science.  60% of those surveyed indicated that they fall into the 18-35 age range category.

The videos were intended to convey the fact that there are many thousands of particle accelerators in the world and that there is a range of applications for particle accelerators.  Based on YouTube comments left by the viewers and feedback from the survey, the videos appear to be delivering their intended message to most viewers. For example, 14 out of 34 comments left on one of the videos mentioned surprise at the number of applications.  Based on the survey responses, the viewers are picking up on very technical details and are getting the main point, and they claim to want even more information.  Furthermore, as part of the social media campaign, the team created and posted additional content, in the form of short blog posts and animated gifs  on Tumblr and one of these has had over 9,000 likes.

Feedback comments from YouTube and the survey include:

I found it fascinating.  Great video and i love the channel.  Keep going on

I think I wanted more and more.  The fluid storytelling was something that hooked me

This was amazing, thank you so much!  A big thank you to Suzie for taking the time to participate and teach us plebs something very interesting

The subject was explained well and the music and visuals were spot on

I think the video hit the correct level of technical detail while trying to keep the message simple to understand

Animated video shortlisted for a European Science TV and New Media Award.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.richannel.org/collections/2016/particle-accelerators-for-humanity