Durham ahead of the game

May 1, 2008

Yesterday I was at the fifth anniversary celebration for the Durham Ogden Centre. Maybe Carlos Frenk knows something we don’t, cos the Ogden Centre web page says that “ongoing support is provided by PPARC”. Of course, Carlos is on the Wakeham panel, so maybe the plan is to re-invent PPARC. Durham have got the new web page ready, but released it too early ? Or… they haven’t changed the web page for eighteen months … surely not.

Anyhoo… it was a splendid afternoon, with a series of excellent review talks on cosmology and particle physics by Carlos himself, Silvia Pascoli, Shaun Cole, Nigel Glover, and Martin Ward. The room was crammed full of PPA types. Guess what the main topic of conversation was at coffee time ? It wasn’t the Higgs Boson. Strangely, there didn’t seem to be anyone there from STFC.

My favourite moment was when Arnold Wolfendale asked Carlos a tricky question, which produced an uncharacteristically long pause in the Frenk flow of speech. Finally he said, “I think you should all know that when I was interviewed for my lectureship in Durham in 1985, Arnold asked me the same question. Well, Arnold, the answer is still the same …”