Strangelets on the Front Page

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I can’t help but think of author Dan Brown when I hear the acronym “CERN.” The Swiss science institute has been sued in federal court in Hawaii:

[T]wo men pursuing a lawsuit in federal court in Hawaii . . . think a giant particle accelerator that will begin smashing protons together outside Geneva this summer might produce a black hole or something else that will spell the end of the Earth : and maybe the universe. * * * Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a”strangelet”that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called”strange matter.”Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

This was front page coverage (here) in the NY Times. We will be waiting a long time for front page coverage of why the law has not yet realized its promise of equality for women and men. And rigorous discourse about race and rights. These issues don’t make as good copy as a black hole gobbling the earth.

-Bridget Crawford

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