Scientist Roger Dixon, also known as Road Hun, retires

Roger Dixon

Longtime Fermilab scientist Roger Dixon is retiring after having spent either too much time trying to do too little, or too little time trying to do too much. He won’t know which until a final settlement is reached. What is clear is that his last day at the lab is too soon for many of his colleagues, friends and fans, and too late for others. Despite feeling very good, he has decided to call it quits because at his age, the good can turn very quickly on you.

A scientist with an undeclared major, Dixon, alias The Road Hun, spent much of his early lab career riding and writing minutes for a cycling group that raced in, and plundered the communities surrounding the laboratory. Other than writing the minutes for the rides, Dixon’s primary job in the group was to bleed. This got the adrenaline flowing for the rest of the riders on the team. His storied talent as a cyclist led to the nickname The Road Hun. He had to give up the name and his bicycle when the bones began to show through at his elbows and knees.

Dixon has held multiple leadership roles during his Fermilab career, the most important of which was head of the Adventure and Humor Department. It is still fuzzy as to who his successor will be, so if you are interested, please write to scientificappointments@fnal.gov.

Laboratory leadership is not easy, Dixon notes. The biggest challenge is getting out of making any decisions that might have a lasting impact. Yet he was able to do this with aplomb, so deftly that his colleagues always said, “He makes it look so easy.”

“It’s why he recommended me to head up the Accelerator Division,” said Sergei Nagaitsev. “He was trying to pass the biggest buck of all – an entire lab division. And the largest one, too.”

Dixon is looking forward to finally focusing on getting some work done on a quantum experiment he’s proposing, but is probably not smart enough to pull it off without some first rate help.  At the moment, he appears to have the help he needs to make him look good.

“I am also thinking of going back to my original career choice for a little while before I recline completely. I always wanted to be a rodeo clown. These guys were the most admired people in the culture I was born into. It is very difficult to remain mindful when confronted by a large bull pawing the ground with fire shooting out of both nostrils,” he said. “Anyone can ride a bull, but I have always wanted to put one to sleep by humming softly to it and scratching it behind the ears. Bulls are vegetarians after all.”

Scientist Roger Dixon is a beloved member of the Fermilab community, and we wish him well in his retirement. Say goodbye at his retirement party on Thursday, Sept. 14, at noon at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N Broadway, Aurora. RSVP to Traci Langford by Sept. 8. A $10 contribution is requested. Reception will have a cash bar. (And absolutely no late responses will be accepted. They don’t mess around.)