Gerd Materlik, Diamond Light Source
Meera - So this month we’re on site at Diamond bringing you an insight into the Inside Diamond Open Days held at the facility. A day where members of the public get to come along and tour the Lightsource to learn the workings of a synchrotron. There are many talks and tours throughout the day, but before they all began, I spoke to Diamond’s CEO Gerd Materlik about the aims of getting the public inside Diamond.
Gerd - We are living within a community so we need to, from my point of view, show the community, invite the community to see what we are doing really. To give them the feeling of one side of how interesting science is. And the other side is the more, the aspect that we are for 80% financed by the government. I think it is always good for the people to see what happens with the taxpayers money, where does it go, what is it about. We really do something, or we can help people, for example in terms of we think about a spectrum of things, to look at viruses, virus structure, to look at histamine structure. On the other side, look at the conservation of the Mary Rose, or hip replacements, and so on. It’s a broad spectrum, basic science to understand function of life and to understand magnetism on the other side.
Meera - And what does a day involve?
Gerd - Well a group comes here in the morning or in the afternoon and they will first have a talk, an introduction/overview of Diamond – the managerial structure, but also the broad science structure. And then for an hour we take them around and show them the accelerators, we show them the instrumentation, the beamlines, and we tell them about a few science examples and hopefully they have an understanding of how broad it is.
Meera - Diamond’s Chief Executive, Gerd Materlik.