The MacGuffin

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Posted by Lauren Rugani on November 16, 2010

Who’s got two thumbs and is moving to Switzerland?

This girl.

Yesterday I accepted an official offer for a short-term position at CERN. Ok, fine, it’s an internship. At 25, a small part of me is ashamed to admit that, especially seeing as how it is a slight step backwards from the position I have now (you know, decent pay, benefits, that sort of thing). But I mean, it’s CERN.

Since I realized science writing was a career option, I’ve wanted to write about physics. And, so far, I’ve been fortunate. My last three gigs have been, in chronological order, at Photonics Spectra, Technology Review and SLAC. I fit grad school somewhere in between. All of these experiences have helped to shape, and improve, my writing — but my passion hasn’t changed.

Getting an opportunity to write at what is arguably the world’s most well-known physics lab is the experience of a lifetime. I’ll get to write about things that are happening for the first time, things that people have spent entire careers only dreaming about. I hope that I can write about them in a way that my parents can understand.

Overall I hope that it will be another learning experience. In no way do I pretend to be an expert in physics — the reason I like writing so much is that I constantly learn new things with each topic I pursue. Aside from the subject matter, I hope to learn new ways to communicate complicated physics to general, educated, and interested audiences. I hope it will bring me a step closer to my [duck because I’m about to throw a cliche at you] holy grail, which is a happy medium between “Gee whiz” science and “What applications will it have in five years” stories.

The paperwork for my visas, however, will be an adventure of its own…


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