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ILC Researchers Build a Communications Strategy

(Photo - ILC Communications Seminar) Ask any International Linear Collider (ILC) scientist about the ILC and you'll get a number of different answers. Some will talk about its high discovery potential in basic science, others will focus on it as a "high tech" research and development center networked world-wide. Still some others consider the ILC an educational center for the next generation of world scientists.

Earlier this week, about 40 participants at the 2006 Vancouver Linear Collider Workshop arrived to the conference a day early to participate in the first ILC communications seminar. There they sought to define a clear goal and message for building a consensus of support for the ILC both inside and outside the particle physics community.

"There's nothing wrong with having different perspectives, yet when communicating the essence and purposes of the ILC to its audiences and stakeholders around the world, the ILC story must be clear, consistent and compelling," said Neil Calder, one of the workshop organizers.

At the workshop, Barry Barish, Director of the ILC Global Design Effort, spoke on the importance of communications to the success of ILC communications and Fermilab Director of Communications Judy Jackson gave an overview of what has been achieved so far. 

After the presentations, workshop participants sought to determine the immediate ILC communications goals. Top on their list was funding for research and development. Subordinate goals included increasing the general public's knowledge of and enthusiasm for ILC science and its international character. Successfully accomplishing these goals will require ILC communicators to identify target audiences, present a compelling case, and answer questions credibly and consistently.

"The International Linear Collider is the next step in a continuing journey of discovery," said Barish. "To get it built, we need to convince government officials, funding agencies, the press, industry, scientists not part of the ILC community, taxpayers and the general public of its importance. It's a big job, but we can do it with a coherent strategy."

—Frank Topper
    SLAC Today, July 21, 2006

Above image: Participants at the ILC communications seminar. (Click on image for larger version.)