history

From ABC7, Feb. 20, 2020: Fermilab scientist emeritus Herman White, the first African-American in history to have a scientific equation that bears his name, is being honored in an exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. The work that earned him the honor of having a scientific equation named for him is on display at the museum as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Black Creativity Exhibit. View the three-minute news segment.

From C2ST TV, Oct. 21, 2019: On Sept. 25, the Chicago Council on Science and Technology hosted a celebration of the life of Fermilab’s second director, Leon Lederman. Fermilab leadership and scientists gave presentations and participated in a panel on Lederman’s sweeping contributions to science and science education. The event is now available on C2ST’s YouTube channel.

From The Atlantic, Oct. 25, 2019: Errant particles from everyday radioactive materials are a major obstacle for particle physicists. The solution? Lead from the bottom of the sea. Fermilab archivist Valerie Higgins is quoted in this piece on materials from old ships reused for physics experiments.

From WDCB’s First Light, Sept. 29, 2019: About one year ago, the scientific community lost a unique and brilliant voice. Leon Lederman was much more than the voice for particle physics and the importance of science, he was a teacher, a champion for education, and by all accounts a charismatic character. In this 15-minute radio piece, First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited with Fermilab scientist Herman White and former Fermilab Education Office Head Marge Bardeen.

“Thousands upon thousands of years ago, at the dawn of human history, Stone Age men gazed at the moon and wondered just what it was.” Now we know. I can spell step, but it was STEM, namely science, technology, engineering and mathematics, that took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon’s surface and back 50 years ago this month.

The newest exhibit presented by Fermilab scientist Erik Ramberg and the Fermilab Archives gives the viewer a glimpse into the fascinating history of the study of electricity. Since 600 BC, scientists and philosophers have theorized on how electrical charge is transferred from one site to another. In the 18th century, experiments testing these theories took off. In the exhibit, see primary texts and early images of electricity at work.

Building a particle physics laboratory requires more than physicists. Fermilab archivist Valerie Higgins has authored a paper available in the online physics repository arXiv, and earlier this month she published an op-ed for Physics World on the importance of capturing perspectives from all parts of the laboratory. She sat down with Symmetry writer Lauren Biron to discuss her thoughts.

From Physics World, April 23, 2019: Fermilab Archivist Valerie Higgins discusses how the contributions of support staff should not be forgotten when it comes to celebrating scientific breakthroughs. Modern scientific research is often conducted through large organizational structures and thousands of participants. For archivists and others interested in the history of scientific research, developing a complete picture requires an understanding not only of the work that scientists and technical staff do but also the contributions of support staff too.