Jerry Hastings

Member of the Science Advisory Committee

I am politically incorrect. I ask the questions that everyone thinks of but daren’t voice. I’m an external science advisor from a non-member country. I come to the ESRF at least twice a year for the Science Advisory Committees. I enjoy the face-to-face meetings I have here, there really is no substitute. It’s where the interesting stuff gets covered – not in the meeting itself but in the informal moments, the coffee breaks and social gatherings when people open up and speak off the record. I’ve seen this happen for many years as I’ve been involved in the ESRF since the beginning. I participated in the foundation phase report, the famous red book, in 1987. I believe very strongly that technology drives science. It’s only once we have an instrument that we can see what it can be used for and we can imagine the next step forwards. Take the microscope, for example. Before using one it’s hard to imagine what you can see. Then when you use one, you can imagine everything else that’s possible to see with it. I have great faith in the Extremely Brilliant Source. It’s a catalyst for excitement in the community. It’s stimulating and it’s got people thinking again. It’s sparked a surge where everyone is copying the concept. A lot of the future success of the ESRF will depend on the creativity of the scientists and what happens when people are stimulated and work together.

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