Tuesday, February 21, 2023

CERN and war

CERN has Russian and Ukrainian physicists; how do they acknowledge the war?
But in March 2022, the number of new research papers by the LHC experiments fell to zero. The reason: a lack of agreement on how to list Russian and Belarusian scientists and institutes, if at all. The temporary compromise, in place up to now, is not to publish.

A Russian physicist says: “We have Ukrainian collaborators for whom this question is naturally extremely painful. [But] most of my Ukrainian colleagues do not extend responsibility for the invasion to their colleagues from Russian institutes. I would say that some of my EU colleagues are much more radical.”

In my not-so-humble opinion, the impact of such boycotts on the war will prove utterly trivial.

The closing line of the Guardian's article says "as Fedoroff notes: 'During the so-called cold war, interactions among Russian and American physicists and between the physicists and their respective governments were credited for keeping the war cold.'"

I don't believe that either.

Insofar as the research we are doing is good for everybody, I see no reason not to declare it off limits to politics, and leave off trying to influence politics or society. We're not a church to be a source of moral authority, but scientists trying to collaborate. The science and engineering are hard enough, and that's what the people funding us want. In the end nobody cares what we say about invasions or diversity, and they'll discount whatever we say about budget priorities since we're interested parties.

Not everything in the world is political, and trying to force it to be is perverse.

Individuals can say what they please, but CERN, lay off the virtue signalling. If individuals can't get along, they can go home.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I don't know about other fields, but communication between Soviet psychiatrists and those in the West was sharply curtailed, and both linguists and archaeologists found that contact was difficult but surprising exceptions would show up for no discernible reasons until 1990.

Sports is also supposed to be separate, but of course it was prime territory for political posturing. I remember some Christian group protesting the Chinese Ping Pong tour in the early 70s, with signs saying that Mao had killed more Christians than Hitler had Jews. It could have been Carl McIntire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_McIntire. That was scoffed at, but turned out to be true.

Korora said...

So he's saying that many of his EU colleagues are prejudiced?