Discovering Particles

Meet the team: Chris Lester

What is the best thing about being a scientist / your job?
Getting to hear other scientists and academics in fields distant from my own talking about their work.

If you could go back in time which scientist would you like to meet and what would you ask them?
I would like to go back in time to meet myself as a child, and hand myself the plans for the time-machine I just used. I would also like to describe Einstein's theory of General Relativity to Isaac Newton, to see what sort of reaction it would elicit. I would like to thank Kepler for the years he spent doing painstaking hand-calculations concerning planetary mechanics which eventually put the elliptical orbits of the planets onto a firm evidential footing.

What do you do in your free time?
Interact with my children, playing the piano, sometimes the cello, dining, maintaining an interest in developments in "the cell". In the past, designing hot air balloons, unicycling, paragliding, dining, building table-top experiments, woodwork, sleeping, etc.

What is the first science you remember doing?
Realising that I could move my eye-balls independently of my head.

What discovery or invention could you really not live without?
Early humans seem to have been able to live without discoveries and/or inventions of the kind implied by the question, though presumably some discoveries and inventions are part and parcel of what it is to be human (fire, cooking etc.). Were you to transport me back to the stone age without my glasses, I would probably struggle to find food or avoid predators.

What do you think is the most important thing yet to be discovered/invented?
I would describe that thing as "the most important thing yet to be discovered/invented". It would be nice if we could all find a way of getting along with each other without squandering the planet's resources and overcome short-term motivations.

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