We physicists are positive that physics is the most important thing in life. We take for granted the notion that without the achievements of physics, industry, technology and even human life itself would be less productive.
We have to face the fact, however, that we are not alone. It is hard to find physicists amongst the decision makers at government levels, and even scientific policy makers may not consider physics as important as we do.
The only way forward is for us to consider outreach as a necessary part of our daily life; we must lower our ivory tower a bit and share our vision and enthusiasm with those who did not understand – or even hated – physics in high school.
For comparison, imagine an opera singer who is willing to sing only to an audience of opera singers – stating others would not understand their art deep enough. Such a singer would soon find themselves starved to death!
Similarly, we don’t need to convert the general population into professional scientists; it is enough to prove that we are doing fantastic things which are of use to everybody.
One must not forget that self-appraisal is never as effective as the opinions of others. We should actively search for those non-physicists who benefit from our achievements: such as medical doctors, using powerful diagnostic apparatus; IT experts, using high-tech gadgets; or archaeologists who base their assessments on physics data.
Physics is everywhere. Physics is extremely useful. Physics is great fun. We know it and we are proud of it.
Active science communication is the only way to share this vision with society. The European Physical Society should have an active role in this procedure.
Member, EPS Executive Committee
Chair, EPS Nuclear Physics Division