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19th EPPCN Meeting Rome 9.-10.5. 2016

| 7. 6. 2016

Agenda: http://indico.cern.ch/event/520151/



Ruth McAvinia (APPEC), Arnaud Marsollier (CERN), Lubos Veverka (Czech Republic), Minna Meriläinen-Tenhu (Finland), Perrine Royole-Degieux (France), Thomas Zoufal (Germany), Eleni Chatzichristou (Greece), Eleonora Cossi (Italy), Melissa van der Sande (Netherlands), Hilde Lynnebakken (Norway), Pawel Bruckman de Renstrom (Poland), Danica Stojiljkovic (Serbia), Ivan Melo (Slovakia), Rocio Vilar Cortabitarte (Spain), Isidoro Garcia (Spain), Marc Türler (Switzerland), Terry O’Connor (United Kingdom)


Also present

Charlotte Warakaulle (CERN), Chris Buratta (STFC), Trish Mullins (STFC)



Brigitte de Monte (Austria), Barbara Vizkelety (Hungary), Avital Baer (Israel), Pedro Abreu (Portugal)



Monday 9 May 2016


1. Welcome


Eleonora Cossi welcomes all the EPPCN members and introduced new participants and attendants: Charlotte Warakaulle, CERN Director for International Relations; Ruth McAvinia, new representative for APPEC; Rocio Vilar Cortabitarte, new EPPCN representative for Spain; Chris Buratta, deputy head of Communication at STFC and Trish Mullins from STFC.


Terry O’Connor announced that Chris Buratta would from now on replace him as EPPCN representative for the UK.


Eleonora did a presentation about INFN, the largest laboratory in Italy, and its activities.



2. Presentation of CERN IR sector and IR-ECO group


Charlotte Warakaulle, CERN Director for International Relations, presented the International Relations (IR) sector that is completely new at CERN, including the structure of the IR-ECO group that is part of the Sector.


IR sector has three main objectives:

- Strengthen CERN’s position as a global centre of excellence in science and research

- Help shape a global policy agenda that supports fundamental research

- Connect CERN with people across the world to inspire scientific curiosity and understanding

Communications cover all three objectives.


IR Sector is divided in two main groups:

IR-REL (Stakeholder Relations)

IR-ECO (Education, Communications and Outreach) – 5 sections and 2 services.


Key priorities for IR sector:

• Reinforce dialogue and exchange with Member States

• Enlargement policy: overview and future directions, as input for Council discussion

• Strengthen the fundamental research input and the scientific perspective more generally in global policy debates

• Develop communications strategy 2016-2020

• Enhance and nuance fundraising efforts through ‘CERN & Society’ and ‘Globe Foundation’

• Create new Alumni Programme


Current projects in the IR-ECO group:

• Updating and developing the website

• Streamlining internal communications: more information in real time and online

• Enhancing audiovisual communications

• Focused communications on overarching themes through cross - cutting task forces

• Impact

• Sustainability

• Diversity

• Improving and expanding the visit options, including virtual tours

• Adding opportunities for more student and teacher programmes

• Preparing large outreach events during the coming five years (2017 and 2019)


To strengthen relations with Members States, a management liaison will be designate for each Member State and thematic forums will be established on issues of interest to Member States.

Geographic enlargement from move from being largely demand-driven to targeting more directly countries with specific potential for contributing to the work of CERN.


- What this means for EPPCN?

EPPCN will be partner in the process of developing strong partnerships.



3. CERN Communications Strategy


Jim Sutton from Proof Communication presented the work done until now on providing input for CERN’s forthcoming communications strategy. They had completed a research phase, an audience research report and an internal communications plan. They will provide by end of May suggestions for the external communications strategy.


Jim Sutton presented the CERN Internal communication current situation and the recommendations (see slides).


He also talked about the suggested External communications strategy.


Help to ensure the long-term future of CERN and its ambitious 

future projects

• Secure current members and attract new ones

• Be a non-politicised advocate for science

• Build further links with industry

• Guidance on messaging for global landscape of science



• New “impact” campaign content should be developed including the input of member states to influence policy makers and general public

• The EPPCN and Interactions networks work well – they should be maintained and there is no benefit in setting up new networks

• The policy of welcoming media to visit CERN should be maintained despite the fact it is a drain on the resources of the press team

• Where possible the existence of “in-house” communication officers from member countries works well

• We should strive for the best co-ordination between CERN communications and the experiments

• More effort should be made to create bespoke content for policymakers

• CERN has a relatively large social media following more effort should be made to take advantage of this by creating shareable content in terms of infographics, video etc

• CERN website should be changed so that CERN People is external facing – highlighting the activities of people at CERN.

myBulletin should be used as bespoke internal comms.


Comments from EPPCN members :

- How can EPPCN contribute to the CERN comms ? Through the network.

- What is the distinction made between staff and users ? Staff includes all people/scientists working on CERN site. Users not based at CERN need more support than Users based at CERN.



4. Summary of FCC Public event in Rome on 14 April


Francesca Scianitti reported on the public event organized by the INFN on 14 April in the occasion of the FCC week in Rome. The public event was called “Discovery Machines” and it was about high energy physics infrastructures.

Context: FCC week 2016 in Rome

Goal: Create public engagement of citizens

Targets: Political stakeholders, Industrials and the Community


On stage there were many people and it was difficult to manage: there were scientists, an economist (interesting and lively exchange between them), several artists, a TV presenter (scientist but not physicist).


The content of the event was proposed by INFN communications office and agreed by the FCC project management and the CERN management.


Programme of the event:

Act 1: Focused on physics (the Higgs boson is not the end but the start).

Act 2: New machines for new physics – exploration is a major goal of fundamental research.

Act 3: Impact of research infrastructures – presentation of an LHC impact study made by an economist.


Attendance: 900 people (300 invited / 600 paid)

The event was webcast as well and CERN people could follow it.


Challenges :

- Define an agreement with FFC management on the topics of the event.

- Managing the communication of an event involving famous CERN’s DG, Fabiola Gianotti.

- Need to share communication actions with FCC week organizers.



5. ESOF 2016 in Manchester


Terry O’Connor gave some explanations about ESOF. This conference is organized by EuroScience and CERN, INFN, ESA are EuroScience members.

It is an attempt to replicate the AAAS conference in Europe.

It is a biennial conference hosted by different cities, this year it will be in Manchester and in 2018 it will be in Toulouse.

Attendance: about 4500 participants.

It is difficult to get Physics at ESOF: this year there is only one particle physics talk. There is also a session on SESAME and several on radio-astronomy.


Policy question for EPPCN: if we care about these events should we coordinate bids to ensure particle physics on the programme? It is what the Interactions network does for AAAS.

This discussion could be for the next EPPCN meeting at CERN in autumn.

There are around 100 reporters included in the participants of this conference.



6. News from CERN


Arnaud Marsollier gave some news from CERN starting by explaining the Weasel story that happened on 29th April. This story was mainly triggered in the US and was the biggest story we had in the last six months for CERN.


In the global media coverage, the weasel story was as high in the media as the 750 GeV in December 2015. Gravitational waves did a peak as well in the media.


Upcoming press releases:

- LHC hopefully on 9th May at 3pm.

- CLOUD end of May.

- MoEDAL (1st paper on monopole search limits) – date unknown yet

- Romania becoming new Member State around May/June.



- LHCP in Lund 13-18 June

- ESOF 2016 in Manchester 23-27 July – CERN present with Eiroforum

- ICHEP 2016 in Chicago 3-10 August

- AAAS 2017 in Boston 16-20 February – LHC session submitted again

- WCSJ 2019 in Lausanne ? – CERN is working with Association Suisse des Journalistes in order to bid for having this event in Europe. CERN will set up a scientific programme about physics and science around this event. Arnaud asks EPPCN members if they want to help. The proposal will be submitted next year. In 2019 the LHC will be stopped so visits underground should be possible.


TEDxCERN 5th November 2016: This year the objective is to have more satellite events. Would EPPCN network being interested in hosting such events?



7. Reinforce and share information within EPPCN network


Arnaud Marsollier did a brief history of the EPPCN network reminding the aim of the network as expressed in the European Strategy in 2006 and in the Update of the Strategy in 2013.

Since its creation in 2007 the network met several times and covered a lot of different topics.


It is understood that all EPPCN members want to share more information and strengthen the network.


The EPPCN members were divided in three smaller thematic groups:

- Pink group: What should be the main objective/activity of EPPCN?

- Yellow group: What is the most important thing to improve?

- Orange group: How could we strengthen EPPCN?


Groups’ reports:

Pink group: 

  • Sharing information and good practices between countries

  • Promote particle physics and CERN in Europe

  • Particle Physics Communication Strategy: do we need a European strategy or a worldwide/national strategy? Are we responsible to define a communication strategy for particle physics in Europe? EPPCN could take the lead in the implementation of such communication strategy.


Yellow group:

  • Improved exchange of information

- Do we need sub-groups

- How do we share the information (platforms, etc.)

- Strategy will provide a framework on better information sharing

  • Strategic focus of the group


Orange group:

  • Governance:

- Should we change the structure of EPPCN introducing rotating chairs?

- Should we work on more specific topics with smaller groups?

  • Technical issues:

- Need of tools to share more information

- Smaller group working on Social Media

  • Activities:

- More meetings or stronger structure?

- Need of forward planning process



- Check tools and access to share more information: Sophie Tesauri will do it.

- Governance of EPPCN:

  • Elect a chair person needs to be discussed: working group (Eleonora Cossi, Chris Buratta, Isidoro Garcia and Arnaud Marsollier) on chairing/co-chairing should give a proposal by late June. Role of the chair: making sure actions are progressing, prepare the agenda, shape discussions, etc.

  • Wish of sharing more information: define what it means, what kind of information we want to share.

  • Social media: coordinate more on social media through Institutions and individual accounts: need a working group in this

  • Are we in charge of developing a communication strategy at European level for Particle Physics? Question to ask to the Council.

  • Setting working groups: define topics such as Social media/Forward planning/Help in defining communication strategy for particle physics in Europe.



8. Gravitational waves communication


Fulvio Ricci, VIRGO spokesperson, explained the kind of research they are doing with Gravitational waves, the discovery of the result and the process of the announcement.

They had to resist to strong pressure for anticipating the announcement of the discovery before the end of the analysis. The impact of the news was huge.

Non-negotiable constraint: not to announce the result before publication.

Conclusion: They started to write the new chapter of the Gravito-dynamics.


Eleonora Cossi presented the INFN communication point of view regarding the announcement of the LIGO/VIRGO results.

Since 2007, VIRGO and LIGO have a joint communication plan in case of a discovery.

Many institutions were involved in the communication of this result and it became difficult to agree on the day of announcement, on the timing, on the headline, on the message, on the visibility of the partners, on the quotes, etc.

Finally the announcement on 11 February :

2 press conferences in English at 4pm in Washington and Cascina. One press release with a common part and a free part. Announcement of the event 48h in advance.

Each main contributor could chose one journalist to cover the news under embargo.

Big impact on social media and via webcast.

Media impact in Italy : 800 press cuttings, 80 TV+ Radio programmes, etc.

On 18 February : public event organized in Rome (700 people attended).


Terry O’Connor presented the British experience with this event.

It has been a success (massive coverage) but it was too much effort.

In conclusion, LIGO needs a communicator not working for Caltech but for the LIGO collaboration.


Perrine Royole-Degieux presented the French experience with this event.

They organized their own event in Paris and in local labs as well.

It was a huge success in France.

But it is just the beginning as there will be other results to come.

Coordination with other communicators, including EPPCN members would be good.



9. “How to deal with the next big announcement?”


Arnaud Marsollier gave the status about the next big announcement we may have regarding LHC data.

- We do not know what we will have

- We have the experience of the Higgs

- It is exciting but also challenging

- We will not have five months to prepare for an announcement!

- From run 2 we have some potential hints

- If the LHC works well we will know if the bump (750 GeV) is real or not - by end of June?

- ICHEP will be a key moment: we may be able to say “we have something but we do not know what it is”

- At CERN we are redefining the process of announcement with the new management

- What kind of material could we prepare in advance? Preparation of backgrounders launched.

- We also have to be ready in case there is nothing and should be able to explain

- In case of big announcement, it will probably be handled like the Higgs event


Arnaud asked the EPPCN members to split again in three groups (Pink, Yellow, Orange) and to think about the material that could be prepared already.

Pink group:

  • Announce of evidence (3.5 sigma) or discovery (5 sigma)? This will depend on CERN and experiments management

  • Sigma meaning

  • Pictures of the bump

  • There are lots of theorists who could explain different theories in each country

  • Explain how we detect such particle


Yellow group:

  • Not a good idea to hunt for strange theories

  • Philosophical questions: be ready for this. We need good background material to be able to reply

  • Be ready to direct media/people to the right people who could reply to their questions

  • Briefing from CERN would be appreciated


Orange group:

  • We need to prepare

  • Use what we already have even if we do not know yet what the result means



10. EPS 2017 in Venice


Giuseppina Salente, who is part of the Local Organizing Committee announced that the next EPS conference will be held in Venice Lido on 5-12 July 2017.


Organization of the conference:

Wednesday: registration

Thursday to Saturday: Parallel Sessions in Palazzo del Casino

Monday to Wednesday: Plenary Sessions in Palazzo del Cinema


Attendance: usually 600-700 people

But as results from LHC run 2 and Gravitational waves are expected there will be more participants than that.


The press office: There will be a dedicated press office during the conference supported by INFN and University of Padova Press offices. EPPCN representatives are welcome to help as well.

The contact with local media will be ensured by INFN press office and with international media by EPPCN members.


They will keep the daily newsletter following the scheme of EPS 2015.


Before the event:

- INFN press office will organize a press conference to announce the EPS 2017 conference

- Special issue of the INFN magazine “asimmetrie” dedicated to the event?

After the event:

- Recap of activity done

- Media coverage report


EPPCN members interested in participating should send an email to info@eps-hep2017.eu

People working at the Press office will be registered to the conference for free.



11. National Media Monitoring Reports


Sophie Tesauri presented the work done by the working group about the National media monitoring reports and the kind of reports that could be sent to all EPPCN members.



CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research, Large Hadron Collider, LHC and Higgs-Boson.


Quarterly reports and one annual report at the end of the year.

Kind of report:

Analytics report including:

- Top Outlets by News Articles

- News by Date (by weeks instead of months)

- Monthly Unique Visitors by Date (by weeks instead of months)

- Media Impact vs. Tone Chart


Two pending charts:

- News Headlines

- News by Tone

Some work still needs to be done before being able to include these two charts in the report.


EPPCN members will be also added to the weekly media monitoring mailing list and will receive the weekly media monitoring reports that the press office provides to CERN management. These reports will not be country specific but will reflect CERN in the news with link to identified significant press cuttings.



12. ICHEP 2016 in Chicago


Terry O’Connor and Arnaud Marsollier presented briefly what is planned for ICHEP 2016 in Chicago.

There will be 2 lunch-time working sessions, 2 parallel sessions (How to sell a story in media/Share experience on Social Media).

The press office will be set by Fermilab. They are using the same model as for ICHEP 2014 and EPS 2015. If people are interested in helping please let Terry or Arnaud know.



13. Summary and actions


See actions in point of 7 of the agenda.


14. Next meeting


The EPPCN autumn meeting will be around end of October-beginning of November. Sophie Tesauri will send a doodle poll as soon as dates will be more precise.


The next Spring meeting will be in Israel as proposed by Avital Baer.

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