On March 3rd and 4th, the AMVA4NewPhysics network participants met in Venice for the second workshop of the consortium, which was dubbed “Scientific kick-off” as indeed for the first time the focus was on the scientific output of the network.

The venue was chosen for its attractiveness – both for the participants to the workshop as well as for the general public who was invited to attend a public conference on the evening of March 3rd. The choice proved correct, as a total of 30 members of the network attended the works out of about 45 members in total. This 67% participation might not look like a big number, but you have to realize that network members are very, very busy people, and membership includes 8 partner nodes (out of 16) which do not have funding for travel within the network.

As for the general public who attended the public conference, this was a clear success, too – over 170 crowded the “Sala della Musica” in Ca’ Sagredo, the 500-years-old palace on the Canal Grande which hosted the event. The formula of the event was designed to attract both people interested in the science we do with the Large Hadron Collider, and people interested in listening to beautiful music. Also, the offer of a rich refreshment for everybody at the end was a good addition to the mix.

Daniela Bortoletto, a Professor from the University of Oxford, entertained the listeners with a discussion of the Large Hadron Collider and the science we do there, while the young talents Pietro Semenzato and Sabina Bakholdina offered several beautiful pieces for piano and violin by Mozart, Brahms, Massenet, Paganini. The lyrical soprano Kalliopi Petrou also contributed with the aria “Je veux vivre”, from “Romeo and Juliet” by Gounod.

The audience remained stuck to their chairs until the very end of the conference, and over 20 questions were posed to Prof. Bortoletto and dr. Dorigo, the scientific coordinator of the network. At the end, everybody moved to the “Sala del Portego” where food and drinks were served to all participants.