Friday, October 19, 2007

diamond is a queen's best friend

The Queen is officially opening the Diamond Synchrotron today, which has generated a lot of publicity at least locally, on BBC radio Oxford etc.

I'm slightly uncomfortable with this though. Why do we need the queen to add a bit of glamour to an opening of which she will probably understand next to nothing ? I think this country has a sufficient number of Nobel laureates, one should have been able to find somebody who is famous _and_ knows something about science. and that way, the reflected sparkle of Diamond (the biggest science facility to be built here in 40 years or so) would have fallen back on science, as opposed to royalty.

And as for those people who only listened because the queen was mentioned, well by tomorrow they will have forgotten everything about Diamond and focus on whatever public library or motorway junction she opens tomorrow.

For those of us who are actually interested in the science of it, Diamond has been in routine operation since January, and I wrote a piece about it last year:
Gross M:
Current Biology 16, No 15 (8.8.), R565-66
Crystal clear

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