CERN Accelerating science

Daniel Prelipcean

How not going to CERN made the difference! All the times I have visited the surroundings of Geneva before, everyone told me: “You have to visit CERN”, “It’s a must, especially since you study Physics”; but I said no: I will not go to CERN, not until I work there. And that pretentious remark made me apply time and time again, and it eventually turned into the dream that this summer has been. Just like central heating, the project I am working on will be such a used tool to scientists that people will ask how was research possible before it.

That may be a huge overstatement, but the enthusiasm of actively contributing to the forefront of science has no equivalent feeling that I have ever witnessed before. ReAna (which stands for Reusable Analysis) wants to solve the irreproducibility crisis that the scientific world is facing: almost half of researchers cannot reproduce their own results, and this number increases to two thirds when talking about reproducing someone else’s results. Nevertheless, information technology came a long way and now we have the computer tools and capacity to fully isolate and to containarize an analysis. It is the transition from telling a story that describes the process, to actually sharing the whole process from data taking to the end result. For this to happen though, we need something more, that transcends all disciplines and any borders: open science. It is a whole movement dealing with making open to everyone everything about the scientific process: raw data, analysis scripts, you name it!

So what has been my experience at CERN? Nothing short of this: Working towards the benefit of all humanity, despite all boundaries people create for themselves..