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ATLAS and blogs July 14, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in physics life.
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So ATLAS has also developed a blog policy. It looks like just about every other experiments — what you can write on a blog is mostly common sense. I know that both D0 and CDF also have a blogging policy. I am willing to bet every other large experiment does as well. The recent rumors have really gotten all the experiments onto the same page!

The policy is exactly what you would imagine: don’t divulge private information about your collaborators or internal meetings, don’t talk about results that haven’t been officially announced by the experiments, etc.

Discussion during coffee break after this was presented in the ATLAS plenary session today made me feel a bit awkward. There is clearly a lot of disdain for people associated with the rumors. Awkward for me because I made a comment about it and even though I’d like to think that I’ve not helped the spread I still might get splashed with some of the fallout (and there is quite a bit).

Basically, I think it is safe to say that we and particle physics collaborations are all feeling our way through this…

Comments»

1. superweak - July 15, 2007

Isn’t the really tricky question how one interacts with bloggers who aren’t part of your collaboration? I first heard the 4b rumors from theorists and CLEO colleagues – never anyone at D0 – and never had internal D0 information. (Seriously, theorists find out about everything. I hear all my juicy rumors about other experiments from them.) I can understand the question of professional courtesy… but the sin seems to have been that the rumors broke out of the HEP community, rather than the fact that someone clearly originally broke D0’s confidentiality rules, even if only verbally.

2. gordonwatts - July 17, 2007

Yes, definately. I don’t think anyone wants to stop the flow of information. And not all internal information is treated as the same. For example, having trouble getting the closure tests working on the jet energy scale isn’t really a big leak. Having trouble making a bump go away at 180 GeV is different. And people do talk: I have department collegues, for example, and they ask me questions. Because the 4b rumor has gotten so hot I don’t really say much about that, but other things they are curious about (“when is the xxx analysis going to come out? What do the 4 vectors look like”). These sorts of things keep science flowing. It would be horrible to shut off all paths of communication!

BUT, blogs become part of the permenent record. They are clearly attribuatable (not anonymous, though I suppose they could be). And the press has clearly shown that they are quite happy to quote a blog, sometimes without first talking to the author. So we have to apply a different standard there.

To use your words, blogs provide a clear path of information out of the HEP community. And after all, that is the whole point — they are meant, partly, as outreach.

3. soumsinsurf - October 31, 2007

You don’t really need or want that lifestyle, it might hurt y’all slowly more…….Just tell him you
don’t wanna repeat something your not too proud of z7uas.


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