April 11, 2013
Greetings, CFN user community!
Spring is finally arriving here on Long Island, and that means warmer weather, more activities on site, and our annual NSLS/CFN Joint User's Meeting are just around the corner.
We in the CFN community often focus on the cutting-edge tools and techniques essential to doing our research—and this is, of course, perfectly natural. But this year's User's Meeting is designed to provide us all with another skillset that plays a crucial part in keeping our research running: effective science communication.
With looming budget concerns, it is more important than ever that we all appreciate the need to share our research with colleagues, funding agencies, and the public. Expressing the intrinsic value of highly specialized nanomaterials research can, as you all know, be very difficult. The ultimate resolution of electron beam lithography, for example, may not be the most exciting sounding subject to a general audience, but expressing the real-world impact of that technique on electronics and materials can help generate real interest and investment. Beyond that, telling our stories helps foster new collaborations and inspires others to pursue even bolder and more challenging research.
This User's Meeting features symposiums and workshops that will explore fascinating science and introduce new methods of communicating our work. I am personally excited about two specific workshops: Single Molecule Microscopy Tools for Life Science and Charge-Transfer on the Nanoscale. The range in focus from biology to physics should offer a strong showcase of the link between very specific experimental techniques and their value beyond the laboratory.
As a final reminder, the cost to attend the User's Meeting is $220 for regular attendees and $110 for students and postdocs, which is a steal considering the opportunities to learn, network, and share your research. For students in particular this is a great chance to forge new collaborations and participate in the poster sessions.
We plan to launch a new seminar series in the coming months that offers a unique platform for members of the CFN user's community. By operating outside of major conferences and meetings, there will be more frequent opportunities to learn about the work of colleagues, strengthen our relationships, and promote the exchange of ideas that will push science into new territories. We are currently seeking volunteers to help organize the events and recommend researchers that might present their work. Please contact Wei-Fu Chen to get involved or offer suggestions.
As you know, the efficacy of the UEC hinges on the honest feedback of the entire Users' Association, and I hope you will all help us continue to improve the environment and operations at CFN. I was delighted to see the strong participation and engagement at the recent electron beam lithography workshop, and I think it represented just how dynamic our community is. When we come together, amazing things can happen.
You are all encouraged to attend the town hall meeting during the Joint Users' Meeting on Monday, May 20. Please voice your concerns, celebrate your successes, and participate in discussions about your experiences and future needs when conducting experiments at CFN. Also, don't forget to stop by our weekly Coffee & Cookies events every Wednesday at 3:30 PM in the CFN lobby.
Please contact me or other UEC members with your thoughts, concerns, and stories of your latest research. Let us know if you are getting enough access to the instruments here at CFN—if not, how can we increase accessibility and facilitate your research? How well is the proposal submission system working, and what might expedite the process? Please do not hesitate to raise any concerns you have! And if something is working especially well, we would love to hear about that, too.
I look forward to a productive and stimulating spring and summer with all of you, and I cannot wait to see you at the Users' Meeting in May!
— Nathalie Bouet
2013-3872 | INT/EXT | Media & Communications Office
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