March 5, 2004  


Harris to Spearhead SLAC-Fermilab Magazine

By Davide Castelvecchi

David Harris has just moved to SLAC to be the editor of a new magazine dedicated to highlighting an exciting new age of fundamental research. He was formerly Head of Media Relations at the American Physical Society (APS).

David Harris (COM) hails from Australia. (Photo by Nicolle Rager)

The new publication—which does not yet officially have a name—will be a joint venture between SLAC and Fermilab, our sister DOE facility near Chicago.

"Particle physics is entering a new area, where traditional accelerator physics is joining with cosmological physics, and that is changing the whole field," Harris says. Harris wants the new magazine to emphasize that cross-fertilization and also to explore the connections to other areas of science and global culture.

The magazine will be a way for SLAC and Fermilab scientists to reach out to the public and to policy makers, and facilitate communication in both directions. "We also want to use the magazine as a way for policy leaders to communicate with the physics community," Harris says.

In an age when addressing fundamental questions will require large facilities such as the International Linear Collider, organizational and financial cooperation among countries will be key. "We really want to take a global perspective, because particle physics is increasingly an international venture," Harris says.

Harris is a theoretical physicist. He has done research in Bose—Einstein condensation and quantum information theory—and has extensive experience communicating science through several kinds of media. After earning a physics degree and a graduate degree in scientific communication from the Australian National University in Canberra, Harris went on to graduate studies in theoretical physics at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. At the same time, he started a career as a freelance writer and as a radio broadcaster for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where he led a weekly science program. He also worked for Radio Australia, an international radio station, and wrote and co-produced a 65-episode TV series on science for children.

Harris took his position at the APS in 2002, when he was only 28. He is enthralled to be at SLAC and to be in charge of the new effort. "It’s not every day that you have a chance to communicate science in a new form and to a really diverse audience," he says. "This was too good an opportunity to pass up."


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Tuesday March 02, 2004 by Emily Ball