New director looks to the future of the UK’s national labs


This episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast features a wide-ranging interview with Dave Newbold, who is Executive Director, National Laboratories Science and Technologies for the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Newbold spent two decades as an experimental particle physicist before joining the STFC. I spoke to him at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, which is home to the STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. This includes the Diamond Light Source synchrotron; the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source; and the Central Laser Facility. The STFC also operates major facilities at Daresbury in Cheshire and the Boulby Underground Laboratory in Yorkshire.

Newbold, who took up his post earlier this year, talks about the challenges of developing strategies for the UK’s national labs and the present and future opportunities for British science. He also explains the importance of international collaborations and why researchers from around the world are keen on using the UK’s scientific facilities.

Future of particle physics

We also spoke about the future of particle physics, and the roles that next-generation colliders and precision experiments will play in our exploration of physics beyond the Standard Model.

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