On the weekend of the 14th and 15th of June 2014, Diamond opened its doors to almost five hundred members of the public. Attending one of 16 sessions over the two days, they were treated to a variety of different activities.
To assist with our large influx of visitors, around 40 dedicated members of staff rolled up their sleeves to help out with running reception, leading tour groups, or talking to visitors in their beamlines or labs.
Each visit started with a chance to talk to some of the facility’s users – including the Mary Rose Trust and Manchester Palaeontology – in the Diamond House atrium. There were also stands run by STFC, London Imperial and the Manchester Imaging group. As ever, refreshments were provided by local community groups, with voluntary contributions to support their fundraising efforts. On this occasion, the tea and cakes were served up by the Sea Scouts, Little Stars Nursery, and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
The tour began in earnest with Sarah and Dave from our public engagement team introducing the world of synchrotron research to our guests with a short animated talk about the Diamond machine. Adults and children alike wiggled their hands in the air with questions on energy usage, Dr Who, bending magnets, and quantum entanglement, before splitting off into smaller groups to embark on their journeys around the ring.
With Diamond in shut-down mode, the groups were all able to visit the three accelerators within the synchrotron – weaving their way through the labyrinth of tunnels to seek out the gleaming machinery. Our amazing tour guides, made up of an array of beamline scientists, machine technicians, software scientists, and specialist science communicators, delighted visitors with their incredible instrument descriptions, and took in more extended visits to the Membrane Protein Laboratory and one of our X-ray diffraction beamlines.
Once the groups had begun to return to the atrium, many kindly contributed to our visitor feedback survey. The results of which have been overwhelmingly positive, and clearly illustrate the positive impact these open days have.
For more information on visiting Diamond or supporting an open day, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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