Smashing Stereotypes - Celebrating diversity in the QUASAR Group
The QUASAR Group has an outstanding track record in collaborative research and in particular in coordinating large scale international training networks, such as OMA and AVA with Fellows who come from practically all continents. This international spirit has been the backbone of our research since the foundation of the Group in 2007. Here, QUASAR Group leader Professor Carsten P Welsch reflects on the journey the Group has undertaken.
To carry out the best research and drive innovation, I strongly believe that the world needs to work together. This is maybe true for many areas of science, but probably particularly the case in accelerator R&D where large scale research infrastructures such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN could simply not be designed, built and operated by a single institution or country.
Members of the QUASAR Group during our ‘Away-Day’ in 2018.
Working closely together with researchers from all around the world has huge benefits – not “only” brings it exceptional talent together to address major research challenges, it also puts individuals in contact with others from all parts of the world and thus exposes them to different backgrounds, points of view and experiences. This creates a very enriching environment and one that I have enjoyed first hand during the times that I have spent over the years in Japan, the USA, Switzerland, Germany and now the UK.
Acting as role models, providing internship opportunities and reaching out to schools have all been important aspects of our work.
This is one of the reasons why, since the foundation of the Group, we have always been a very international group. Currently there are more than 20 different nationalities working together in the QUASAR Group – all with the aim of pushing the boundaries of particle accelerator R&D. Almost 30% of our group members are female and have helped inspire girls around the world to follow in their footsteps. Acting as role models, providing internship opportunities and reaching out to schools have all been important aspects of our work.
Explaining science through the Physics of Star Wars.
We have had major successes in accelerator science outreach and public engagement. We consider it very important to communicate our research findings to the wider public and in particular to engage the next generation of scientists and engineers. By fascinating them through events such as Physics of Star Wars or Marie Curie Day, creating valuable teaching resources for schools around the world, and achieving global media coverage about our activities, we have successfully shared our passion for accelerator science and technology with Millions around the world – and will continue to do so.
This diverse portfolio encourages discussions across disciplinary boundaries and connects us to research partners from all around the world.
Finally, and not least, diversity is also reflected in our research portfolio: The QUASAR Group today carries out R&D into the design and optimization of accelerators and light sources; novel accelerators using plasmas and other high gradient concepts; and a range of applications including ion beam cancer therapy and 3D Xray imaging. This diverse portfolio encourages discussions across disciplinary boundaries and connects us to research partners from all around the world. I am sure that this will continue to be an excellent basis for tackling some of the most pressing research challenges.
The QUASAR Group is strongly committed to equality and diversity. This short video shows a collection of the many faces and stories that make our group so pleasant to work in. We have also co-produced this film about Science knows no borders with CERN and Polarmedia which highlights the importance of international collaboration on the example of the Future Circular Collider.
The British Science Week 'Smashing Stereotypes' campaign is celebrating diversity in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) workforce by showcasing diverse and inspiring teams and individuals working in STEM sectors. Follow #BSW21 #SmashingStereotypes @ScienceWeekUK to read more inspiring stories.