At the end of this month, it will be 6 years that I am on this chain. It will be six years that I discuss, week after week, particle physics, cosmology, and connected topics. It will also be six years that STEM passionate bloggers see me reading and commenting their blogs, both within the STEMsocial community and outside it.
On the other hand, in two days, I will switch my computer off for three weeks, allowing myself to rest, enjoy outdoor spaces and reload my batteries. As those who follow me probably know it already, my health has been heavily affected this year, not only by COVID itself (I am still paying a hard price after getting it two months ago), but also by its impact on university duties and life.
In other words, I am quite exhausted and a disconnection is in order. As most researchers, when the computer is on, I do some work, no matter what, and I don’t rest… Consequently, the post of today is a ‘happy holidays post’, with some personal items and highlights, before a three-weeks break.
[Credits: @lemouth (13 August 2018)]
Six years ago, my brother-in-law introduced me to Hive, when this chain had another name (
Steem). Hive was presented to me as a new blockchain-based social media, connected to the crypto-world. At that time, I always wanted to have a blog in order to discuss particle physics with the general public, and cryptos were something into which I wanted to dig.
In July 2016, I thus made the move and decided that Hive could be an interesting experience, both for the social and crypto aspects.
After six years, I wrote about 300 blogs on particle physics and cosmology, mostly in English but also in French. In 2022, I even managed to keep a rhythm of two blogs per week, one in English and one in French. This pace allows me not only to discuss new research topics and ideas, but it also leaves me enough time to have fun in engaging other authors (mostly those making use of the STEM tags). I have checked my statistics, and I am very close to reach the nice number of 20,000 comments.
This is where STEMsocial enters the discussion.
Our community was founded in September 2016 by a group of STEM enthusiasts, with the goal of supporting and engaging all Hive community members interested in science and technology. We are hence probably one of the oldest curation group on this chain. As any curation group, evolution nevertheless kicked in. People left and people arrived. Today, the core team consists of two of the original members, @mobbs and myself, plus four dedicated curators, @carloserp-2000, @eniolw, @gentleshaid and @iamphysical.
Obviously, social aspects are very important to us. We have a more-or-less active Discord server, and we have (so far) organised two meetups, one inside CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (the LHC), and one at Virgo Labs (where gravitational waves are observed). I hope more will come!
STEMsocial is however much more than this. If I had to define the project in one line, I would say that our goal is to create an environment where both STEM professionals and enthusiasts could take STEM communication in a new direction (i.e. without the need for a third-party journalists mostly looking for buzzes and/or weird stories).
Let me now shed some light on the future.
Before being able to show off at universities, research institutes and participate officially to outreach events, we need a frontend so that we could format Hive data in a way matching our vision. I have tons of ideas in this direction, and we used to have an old app back in the days. However, it did not survive HF25 and COVID.
This app is still something which I would like to see. With @bambukah we will do our best to release an MVP by HiveFest 7. Don’t hesitate to come and meet me there. I will even give a STEMsocial talk (see here). To go back to the app, note that STEMsocial still has room for any developer interested in helping us.
[Credits: Eric Bridiers (CC BY-ND 2.0)]
Before closing this blog, let’s briefly chat about particle physics. I won’t discuss any recent research highlights today, even if I have great topics that I should definitely discuss soon. I indeed managed to release two scientific publications in June-July, and both deserve to get dedicated blogs on Hive.
The first article addressed the development of a technique allowing researchers outside any big LHC collaboration to use optimally LHC data to test any model of physics. The second article discussed new production channels for hypothetical particles called leptoquarks (that are very interesting in light of current anomalies in high-energy physics data). Whilst these channels have been ignored by experimental searches so far, they are potentially important and could give rise to new signatures of leptoquarks at the LHC.
I leave these two topics for dedicated blogs at the time of my return to the online world in three weeks.
Note that if you really need a weekly physics jab, you could consider giving a chance to our particle physics citizen science project on Hive. With a simple computer and a few hours of your time, it is possible to take part to actual research in particle physics on this chain.
[Credits: Daniel Dominguez (CERN) ]
This allowed in particular @agreste, @eniolw, @gentleshaid and @travelingmercies to undertake particle physics calculations relevant for the on-going run of the Large Hadron Collider, and to produce new results for neutrino physics for the first time ever. We plan to move further from September, and we aim at publishing our on-going study in a scientific journal (with the help of @gtg for the management of our future simulation data).
If you are interested in joining this project, consider reading this blog. it contains a list with the five episodes that I proposed up to now. Do not hesitate to report your findings on chain, and you can check what others did by browsing the #citizenscience tag.
It is now time to end this blog. I wish everyone a very nice and relaxing summer. Happy holidays if you have the chance to take some, and see you very soon.
PS: I will stay online until Sunday included!